Council

The Auburn City Council plans to discuss Gov. Kay Ivey’s dime a gallon gasoline tax increase and what it would mean to the city at its packet meeting on Friday, according to Mayor Ron Anders.

“We have not discussed it yet, since it sort of came up so quickly, but we plan to,” Anders said.

The legislation would increase the tax six cents per gallon this year and two cents a gallon in each of the next two years. The state gas tax of 18 cents a gallon has not been increased since 1992.

When fully implemented, the tax would produce an estimated $320 million year. Two-thirds of that amount would go to the state, but counties would get one-fourth and cities would receive 8 percent. 

A separate portion of about $12 million a year would pay a bond issue for the state docks at Mobile.

City and county associations, although earlier squabbling over the allocation formula, are now on board supporting the tax increase.

A city’s revenue is determined by a complicated formula that gives each municipality a certain amount and then divides the remainder by population, according to the 2010 census. 

Auburn’s population in 2010, according to the document published by AL.com, was 53,380, and its fuel tax receipts in 2017 amounted to $282,335. With the legislation now signed into law by Ivey, Auburn’s new allocation when the full 10 cents tax becomes effective is set to be $657,789.

The city of Auburn currently receives about $1 million a year through existing gas tax funds, said Director of Public Affairs David Dorton, which includes about $822,000 collected annually from the local two-cent gas tax, which the city passed in 1976.

Anders said the city “absolutely” could use the additional revenue for road and bridge maintenance.

"As with existing gas tax revenue, any increased revenue will be dedicated to transportation infrastructure needs generally, whether that be our annual resurfacing project or other road projects and improvements," said Dorton in an email to The Villager. "We will also apply for project funds through the mechanisms created in the bill (such as the ATRIP II program) as appropriate. There will always be a need for funding to improve roads and traffic infrastructure."

The new tax would cost a driver who travels 12,000 miles a year and gets about 22 miles to the gallon, $55 a year.

Both the Alabama House and Senate approved the 10-cent increase during a five-day special session called by Ivey, who signed the bill into law Tuesday afternoon.

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