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Marengo County set to gain over $420,000 through state gas tax

Marengo County will gain over $422,000 during the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which starts in October and ends in September, as a result of Alabama’s new gas tax. With an additional $400,000 from the state, the county will have more than $800,000 to repair and resurface bridges and roads.

Prior to the gas tax going into effect, Alabamians paid an 18-cent per gallon tax on gasoline and 19-cent tax on diesel.

The $422,175 is a result of the six-cent tax taking effect in September. The tax will increase by two cents in October of each year before capping at 10 cents. In fiscal year 2020-21, Marengo County will take in $562,900 from the eight-cent tax and, when it remains a steady 10-cent tax, the county will have $703,625 to invest in road infrastructure throughout the county. These funds are in addition to the $400,000 in state funding that is provided outside of the tax revenue.

“All of the cities and incorporated towns in Marengo County are also getting a cut of it,” County Engineer Ken Atkins said.

Tax adjustments will take place every other year beginning in 2023 coinciding with the National Highway Construction Cost Index and cannot exceed a one-cent increase or decrease per adjustment.

The first year’s revenue, which will be paid out to the county in January, will go towards one bridge replacement on Sand Creek Road and five resurfacing projects throughout the county. Portions of County Roads 57, 2, 54, 6 and 17 will see leveling and resurfacing.

Once the tax revenue reaches the full 10 cents, seven more miles per year will be resurfaced each year.

Atkins said there are less stipulations on the funds, making it easier to get work done. However, 50 percent of work must be contracted out.

Atkins said that, in addition to seeing better road infrastructure throughout the county, the tax could end up saving tax payers more money in the end.

“It’s going to speed the process up and hopefully save the tax payers more money in the long run in wear and tear on their vehicles,” he said.

Any funds left over from one year will roll over and be available in the next year.

The gas tax increase is part of Gov. Kay Ivey’s Rebuild Alabama Act. Counties will receive 25 percent of the overall tax revenue and municipalities 8 percent. The remaining funds will go to the state.

Forty-five percent of the county funding will be allocated evenly among the 67 counties and 55 percent will be allocated based on population. Twenty-five percent of the municipality funding will be allocated evenly and 75 percent will be allocated based on population.

The full text of the Rebuild Alabama Act can be found on www.alabamacounties.org/rebuildal/.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, September 4 issue of the Demopolis Times.)