Prices could be going up at the pump in Alabama

VERNON, Ala. (WCBI) – Tuesday kicked off the 2019 Legislative Session in Alabama.

It started with Governor Kay Ivey and other lawmakers pushing for a gas tax increase, meaning, you’d pay more at the pump.

If it passes, there would be a 10 cent hike.

Ivey said the extra money would go toward better roads and other infrastructure projects.

If Governor Ivey’s plan passes, the gas tax would be phased in over three years.

In year three the gas tax would be 10 cents higher than it is right now for gasoline and diesel fuel.

Ivey believes the full increase would bring in over $300 million for infrastructure.

The bill is already pumping up debate across the state.

Eskridge Trucking in Vernon, Alabama, hopes lawmakers will pump the brakes on this bill and look at the impacts it could have on businesses.

“Our diesel fuel bill now is probably $15,000 to $20,000 a month already, so fuel is our biggest, well fuel and employees, expense,” said Eskridge Trucking dispatcher and safety director Mike Gideon.

Gideon said a gas tax hike could lead to higher prices in stores for shoppers.

“Everything that’s delivered to grocery stores, or any merchandise sold is going to go up. It’s going to and for people in rural areas like this, their income is kind of low anyway compared to most of the state because everything they go to buy is going to be more expensive.”

State leaders said money from the tax spike would spill over to improving roads and bridges across Alabama.

It would also support improvements to the port in Mobile.

“This is my opinion and I think maybe the big cities like Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Mobile, I’m just afraid that most of the money would go to those places and the Mobile docks and stuff like that, even though they say the money is earmarked, I’m concerned about that too.”

Susan Crotwell believes cranking up the costs on gas wouldn’t roll over to where state leaders say it will.

“I don’t know what they do with it, but they haven’t obviously been fixing the roads in Vernon, already so you know, I just don’t believe that’s what they’ll use it for.”

Many drivers in Vernon agree, even the Alabama Republican Party has officially rejected the idea.

Some in Montgomery said the proposal is running on fumes.

“Gas is too expensive already. It goes up-and-down for no reason at all that you can see and if I’m going to buy gas, you can see I have a little small car, so I can drive 30 miles to another gas station. I can drive to Mississippi and buy gas if I have to and I will.”

Governor Kay Ivey delivered the annual state of the state speech Monday night at 6:30 at the State Capitol.

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