Tuesday, March 05, 2019

ATA announces support of Gov. Ivey’s infrastructure funding plan

The Alabama Trucking Association applauds Gov. Kay Ivey’s recent proposal to increase the state’s fuel tax by 10 cents to pay for infrastructure improvements.

Gov. Ivey’s Rebuild Alabama Infrastructure Plan seeks to raise the state’s fuel tax with an index designed to coincide with rising costs of maintaining and building roads and bridges. The tax increase will be phased in over three years and could generate an additional $320 million earmarked solely for transportation funding. Alabama currently imposes a flat excise tax of 18 cents-per-gallon on gas and 19 cents-per-gallon on diesel without adjusting for inflation and other construction and maintenance costs.

“Adequate funding is imperative to fixing our many roads and bridges that are in dire need of repair,” Gov. Ivey said at recent press conference. “By increasing our investment in infrastructure, we are also making an investment in public safety, economic development, and the prosperity of our state.”

The Alabama Trucking Association has long advocated for an increase in fuel taxes to improve Alabama’s roadways, and according to ATA leaders, that commitment still stands.

“Alabama ranks dead last in its support of infrastructure funding compared to other Southeastern states,” said ATA Chairman of the Board Fenn Church. “The last time we adjusted the state’s fuel tax was in 1992 — and based on inflation alone, it would take an additional 14 cents to have the same purchasing power as in 1992. When you add fuel economy to the equation, it would require an increase of 22 cents. We applaud Gov. Ivey for having the courage and vision to introduce this important infrastructure funding plan.”

Though earlier attempts to increase the state’s fuel tax have fallen short, Church said this year’s effort holds promise.

“A well-coordinated effort by the Governor and the leadership of both legislative chambers is now in play,” he said. “ATA fully supports their commitment to moving Alabama forward. Charged with moving freight safely, on-time and efficiently, Alabama truckers know there is a cost of doing nothing. If we continue kicking the can on road funding, we will pay for it in weakened economic competitiveness, diminished economic productivity, increased vehicle maintenance and operating costs, and impaired access to education, employment and healthcare.”