Wow, are there some big winners and big losers this week in the gas tax fight. I’m going to look at this objectively, and call myself a loser. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Winner #1: I’d be remiss not to point out that the big winner in securing the gas tax was the new and improved Business Council of Alabama. Much to the chagrin of the people who wished it dead during the Bill Canary years. The BCA is now back and stronger than ever under the leadership of Katie Boyd Britt. It was with the support of Katie and the BCA board that the gas tax fast-tracked through the state legislature during special session. BCA, Katie, y’all are winner #1.
Winner #2: Those who forced change at the BCA and hired Katie Britt. Make no mistake Canary would have loved to hold onto power if not for the public departure of Alabama’s biggest businesses from the council to force change. Those same individuals had the wherewithal to hire Britt away from Senator Richard Shelby. Here’s looking at BCA Chairman Mark Crosswhite. Undoubtedly, Crosswhite drove this train and put Britt at the control.
Winner #3: Senator Richard Shelby. He made his position on this bill known and few people wanted to face his wrath if they went against his will. Certainly no one from Mobile stood a chance as a “no” vote. Love or hate that level of influence, it worked well for him and his priority: the Port of Mobile.
Winner #4: Anybody associated with roads and roadbuilding. That includes anybody who contracts with ALDOT, the cities or the counties. Yay! You guys are getting more money.
Winner #5: The cities and the counties, who now have more money to play with in their budgets. What was the price of these additional funds? Not speaking up for Alabama taxpayers and pushing an offset for the gas tax or working against it.
Loser #1: Me! Okay well not just me, but rather those few of us who were adamantly opposed to the gas tax, but could not get their voices heard or amplified enough to stop it. Too little, too late. Too few of us speaking out. This goes to prove just how important it is for conservatives to regroup before the next election cycle (more on that coming soon).
Loser #2: The taxpayers. We need to do more, and do better. Income taxes, and high sales taxes. We need to work together to offset this gas tax.
Loser #3: Not who you’d expect, but I’m going to say Gov. Kay Ivey. Why? Because this is Kay’s legacy. Her legacy is her first act as officially being elected governor, rather than assuming the position post-scandal/resignation, is raising taxes. Way to disappoint a conservative constituency who had high hopes for you coming in a a red state governor.
Jokes on you: Everyone who thought Walt Maddox‘s campaign was too liberal for the state: medicaid expansion, gas tax, and lottery? Rumor is we’re getting all three as part of this deal.