OUR VIEW: Gas tax goes in effect Sunday

Published 3:06 pm Thursday, August 29, 2019

No matter which side of this impending gas tax you fall on starting Sunday, the fact of the matter is that it’s coming.

On Sunday morning, whenever anyone stops at the pump, gas will be six cents higher than it was the night before. It’s something all of us who drive must do probably once a week at least.

In October 2020, it will go up two cents and in October 2021, it will go up two more cents.

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As of Thursday afternoon, gas in Chambers County was hovering around $2.20, give or take a few pennies depending on where you were. In West Point, prices were near the $2.70 mark Thursday afternoon. It’s a safe bet most Alabama residents will still buy gas in Alabama.

The one thing Alabamians and residents of Chambers County can do now is make sure the money spent by local municipalities is used wisely. In our newsroom, we’ve written several stories about how much municipalities will get the first year and their plans to use that money.

The gas tax is part of Gov. Kay Ivey’s Rebuild Alabama Infrastructure Plan. The funds generated can only be used for road, bridge and transportation projects. The money can also be used as match money to help municipalities obtain transportation grants.

Long story made short, all the extra being paid at the pump is going back into the roads and bridges residents use every day with their vehicles.

Chambers County plans to pave and restripe about 6.5 miles of road and reconstruct the bridge that hangs over Norfolk Southern Railroad. The county is spending $890,000.

Valley has announced it will be paving $2 million worth of roads throughout the next five years. And LaFayette will get about $20,000 the first year and plans to resurface many streets within the city.

While paying for infrastructure improvements doesn’t deliver a lot of excitement, it’s something that’s practical for tax dollars. Drivers don’t usually think about the roads they are traveling on until they hit a series of potholes or a road that’s uneven to where it makes it tough to drive.

Nobody really likes paying more for gas but for most of us, it’s necessary and it’s comforting to know at least some of that money is going back to treat the roads we use every day.