The Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA) voted today to support a 3-cent per gallon fuel increase to fund a $1.2 billion bond issue for local road and bridge projects. The bond issue would cost the average Alabama driver a nickel a day — less than $1.50 each month.
ACCA Executive Director Sonny Brasfield said counties need to shift focus and get behind a concrete infrastructure plan before the legislative session begins on Feb. 7.
“We just feel like the only way to push this forward is for county leaders to advocate for a specific plan,” Brasfield said.
Under the plan approved by the ACCA membership today, revenue from the bonds would be divided among counties using the existing gasoline tax formula. While the formula is partially based on population, under this plan, every county would get a minimum of $10 million. Twenty percent of the money would be spent within municipalities.
The legislation would prohibit the bond money being used for salaries, equipment, or for construction other than road projects. It would also require periodic reporting on the projects. The 3-cent tax increase would expire on the June 30 following the repayment of the bonds.
The new plan would come on the heels of the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, ATRIP, which was launched a few years ago and has allowed cities and counties to undertake hundreds of road and bridge projects.
“Some roads that were not eligible for ATRIP funds would be eligible under the new plan, which is being called ATRIP-2,” said Brasfield.