MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — As gas prices continue to soar nationwide, some states, including Georgia, are extending the pause on their gas tax. 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 premium fuel. She says she’d welcome a 28-cent price reduction per gallon of gas.
“It would make a big difference to me,” Addison said after filling up at a Circle K in Montgomery.
Addison says in recent months she’s cut back on any driving outside her work commute.
“I average about $90 plus a week in gas-only if my gas tank is at a half tank. If it’s less than that it’s going to almost double because of the travel and commute, but it has been stressful for the last three months I would say,” Addison said.
State Rep. Gil Isbell says he’s feeling the costs, too, but pausing the 28-cent tax would lead to more than one billion dollars in lost revenue for much-needed infrastructure projects. He also says for people who don’t drive long distances often, it wouldn’t make much difference.
“Even if we did it for one month or two months, it’s going to help people’s pocketbooks for a very short time, but it’s actually an insignificant amount of money, $5, I’m guessing $5 to 10 a month,” Isbell said.
Gov. Kay Ivey’s position on the state gas tax has stayed the same. Her office confirmed there are no plans to pause the state fuel tax at this time but said she would continue evaluating and monitoring 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 vote of the people and likely take a long time to happen.
“I don’t think that’s a prudent thing to do, it’s used for other things, and we have that money to fall back on if there’s just a terrible time economically that we could draw from that,” Isbell said.
Isbell emphasized that federal policy change related to domestic oil production would make the biggest impact.
In addition to Georgia, Connecticut and New York currently have gas tax holidays, and West Virginia’s governor is considering it, too.