In order to fund assistance for Alabama’s infrastructure, Governor Kay Ivey proposed and signed a gas tax increase in March, and this increase will take effect on Sunday, Sept. 1.
Though raising the gas tax has not been a popular idea in the past, one of Ivey’s main priorities was to raise the tax in order to fix Alabama’s roads and bridges. With a slightly amended version of the bill and widespread legislative support, the Senate passed the bill known as the Rebuild Alabama Act.
“Increasing the investment in infrastructure is vital to promoting economic growth and making roads safer,” Ivey said in a statement back in February.
Alabama’s 18-cent gas tax hasn’t been shifted since it was changed in 1992, and this new tax is just the beginning. This 6-cent tax increase is only the first phase of the bill. In 2020 the gas tax will be raised another 2 cents, and in 2021 it will be raised again for the last time when it has reached its full 10-cent goal. But some students are wondering if the spike of gas prices will affect them negatively.
Matt Pierce, a full-time college student at Auburn and driver for a pizza chain, said the gas tax will hinder him in many ways in the next few months.
“My job relies on me driving,” Pierce said. “Being a delivery driver, I fill up on gas pretty regularly. I make a lot of trips every day and the extra money I am spending with this gas increase could go towards my college fund. That extra 6 cents could be the difference of me filling up or not one day.”
While some people see this new gas tax as a negative, there are others who believe this gas tax is necessary to Alabama in aiding the long-time fight for better roads and general infrastructure of the state.
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Gabrielle Schmidt, a senior studying finance at Auburn University, believes the gas tax is fair and is a good form of implementation.
“I actually think that it is very fair because it is taxing those who use the roads in Alabama, which are very problematic,” Schmidt said. “Instead of implementing state taxes, I don’t like paying extra taxes, but it is a good system — and those who drive a lot can see the benefits.”
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