Arthur Orr files bill to allow counties to ask voters for gas tax increase

gas station pump

Alabama has some of the cheapest gas nationwide. The state hasn’t seen the state gas tax since 1992.

Despite the need for funds to complete road projects across the state, proposals to increase the gas tax have been discussed and died in session for years.

Which is why Decatur-Republican State Sen. Arthur Orr introduced SB89. Rather than putting forth a statewide tax, Orr’s bill would allow Alabama county commissions to ask voters in their counties to raise the gasoline tax with all of the funds going to specific road projects.

The bill would county commissions to tax up to five cents, referendum, to be distributed on said transportation projects.

Counties would have to present to their residents a resolution — including a list of projects the tax would fund, as well as the the amount of and the duration of the tax — on which they would vote and have the final say as to whether the tax would go through.The tax would expire after five years.

Orr made the same proposal last year after a statewide gas tax failed to pass Legislature.

While many Republican lawmakers balk at the notion of raising taxes, Gov. Kay Ivey considers it a business decision and has been a proponent of a gas tax in the past.

“I strongly support the gas tax and I encourage the members of the House to do likewise,” Ivey said in May. “Our commerce needs good transportation. It’s a business decision. I’m a conservative. I’m a Republican. I got the facts. Who better to make a business decision than a conservative Republican who has all the facts? That’s the message and I hope all Democrats and Republicans will step up to the plate and let’s do business for Alabama.”