Alabama House committee passes 5 cent gas tax hike

fuel pump
Alabama drivers could see the state’s gas tax rise for the first time in 23 years.

The Alabama House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure committee has passed a new bill that would raise the gas tax in the state by 5 cents per gallon, The Anniston Star reported. The bill would also automatically raise the gas tax by 2 cents in certain years based on the price of gas and other factors. The bill next heads to the full state House of Representatives for a vote.

Rep. Mac McCutcheon (R-Huntsville) sponsored the bill and said that the state’s infrastructure cannot sustain on 1990s revenue levels. “We’ve got two-lane roads that carry thousands of cars per day,” McCutcheon said.  “We’ve got counties that don’t have a four-lane road in them.”

The increase would raise $100 million in 2016 and $150 million in 2017. A third of revenue would go directly to local governments in the state.

The Hill reported that the gas tax increase would raise the total amount Alabamians pay in gas tax to 44 cents per gallon.

But the plan is meeting opposition. Some said it would raise the cost of living in the state, and Alabama Trucking Association representative Jim Sizemore said it would be damaging to the trucking industry.

“We’re opposed to the bill,” Sizemore said. “It is a massive increase, and it’s not good for the economy.”