By Carolyn Kramer, manager, Transportation Investment Advocacy Center

A bill to raise Alabama’s state gas tax for the first time in 23 years passed a key House committee Sept. 10.

The measure provides an immediate 5 cents-per-gallon increase. It also would raise state gasoline and diesel taxes by 2 cents-per-gallon if the base price of fuel exceeds the current year average price by 2 cents-per-gallon, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. The bill could generate an estimated $66 million for the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and $36 million for local governments in 2016, increasing the following year to $100 million for ALDOT and $54 million for local governments.

House Bill 28, introduced by Rep. Mac McCutcheon (R-Dist. 25), passed the House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee by voice vote and now heads to the state House floor for a full vote.

Alabama, which has not increased the state gas tax since 1992, is facing significant transportation infrastructure needs. Additionally, like some other states, the transportation fund has been used in the past to transfer revenue into the General Fund.