MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) – As gas prices continue to soar nationwide, some states, including Georgia, are extending their gas tax pause. But here in Alabama, state lawmakers and the governor aren’t changing their minds about keeping the tax in place.
Cqushunda Addison drives two hours from Tuscaloosa to work in Montgomery, and her truck takes on premium fuel. She says she would appreciate a price reduction of 28 cents per gallon of gasoline.
“It would make a big difference to me,” Addison said after fueling up at a Circle K in Montgomery.
Addison says that over the past few months she has reduced all driving outside of her work commute.
“I average about $90 plus a week on gas only if my gas tank is half full. If it’s less than that, it’s going to almost double because of travel and commuting, but I’d say it’s been stressful the last three months,” Addison said.
State Representative Gil Isbell says he is feeling the costs too, but suspending the 28-cent tax would result in more than $1 billion in lost revenue for much-needed infrastructure projects. He also says that for people who don’t travel long distances often, it wouldn’t make much of a difference.
“Even if we did it for a month or two months, it’s going to help people’s wallets for a very short time, but it’s actually an insignificant amount of money, $5, I guess $5-10 per month,” Isbell said.
Gov. Kay Ivey’s position on the state gas tax has remained the same. His office confirmed there are no plans to suspend the state fuel tax at this time, but said it will continue to assess and monitor the situation.
In terms of other possible solutions, Isbell says the state could use money from its gas and oil reserve, but that would require a people’s vote and would likely take a long time to happen.
“I don’t think it’s a prudent thing to do, it’s being used for other things, and we have that money to fall back on if there’s just a terrible time economically that we might get out of this,” Isbell said.
Isbell pointed out that the change in federal policy related to domestic oil production would have the biggest impact.
In addition to Georgia, Connecticut and New York currently have gasoline tax holidays, and the governor of West Virginia is considering it as well.
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