AL could raise gas tax for first time in 25 years

Updated: Apr. 24, 2017 at 9:21 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's been 25 years since Alabama's gas tax has been raised.

"It took us 25 years for us to get to this point, so that tells you there that nobody really wants to address this," said House Speaker Mac McCutcheon.

However, the issue is becoming more of a problem as Alabama's infrastructure ages.

President Donald Trump promised to push for infrastructure increases if he became president, something Alabama may be unable to take advantage of.

"We are not going to have the money in Alabama to support a federal highway plan if one comes out, so we are either going to sit on the sideline and watch that money go away and not be able to fix our infrastructure based on a federal plan..." McCutcheon warned.

"Every dollar the feds gives us requires some sort of matching," said AUM economics professor Keivan Deravi.

That really is the issue, as Alabama simply does not have the money to match any potential federal plan.

"Well if it excludes Alabama from receiving the federal funds it would be like just giving back the money the feds are extending to us," Dervai said.

McCutcheon says if a federal plan is passed, lawmakers could come back in a special session to pass a gas tax to make sure they take advantage of the revenue.

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