HUNTSVILLE, AL- It’s no secret roads across the state of Alabama are unfavorable at best. According to officials, nearly 50% of state highways are in fair, poor or very poor condition.
“Some counties say they’re at the point where they can no longer repave their roads, they’re thinking about scraping up the broken asphalt and putting their roads back to gravel because they just don’t have the money to pave their roads,” said Representative Mac McCutcheon.
What would you be willing to pay for improvements? Representative McCutcheon is proposing a 6-cent tax increase on gas to fund road improvements through House Bill 394. Without the funds, McCutcheon believes Alabama roads will reach crisis status as soon as next year.
“The urgency is here, there’s no doubt about it,” said Representative McCutcheon.
The gas tax ensures everybody who passes through, not just Alabamians pay for their share of road use.
“We have a lot of people who drive through this state, going to the beach, going to Gulf Shores, they use our roads, they have wear and tear. They should be expected to help us pay for our roads as well,” said Representative McCutcheon.
Lawmakers have waited 25 years to address this issue, McCutcheon says enough is enough. “We cannot build roads, we cannot continue to address our infrastructure needs on 1992 revenue streams,” said Representative McCutcheon.
McCutcheon says Senate Bill 180 will ensure 100% of revenues raised will go only toward road construction.
“The counties, municipalities and the state will have to be held accountable for those dollars, in those dollars they will have to report those dollars out on a yearly basis, the report will be made public,” explained Representative McCutcheon.
The legislature will reconvene Tuesday; McCutcheon says he’s fairly confident the tax increase bill will be on the floor this week but he says both bills need to pass the house and senate in order to work.