MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said Thursday that a proposed gas tax increase is defunct for the session after the legislation encountered heavy opposition in early debate.
House members on Thursday delayed a vote on a proposed gas tax increase to pay for road and bridge construction. Under the proposal, the state gas tax would have risen by four cents per gallon this year and another two cents in 2019. It could have risen by another three cents in 2024.
"Gas tax is dead. There will be no more gas tax this year," McCutcheon said after Thursday's decision to delay the vote.
He said he doubted it would come up next year when lawmakers are headed toward election: "As much pressure as members get over just the T-A-X word, the tax word, I don't see anybody trying to support something in an election year."
Rep. Bill Poole, the bill's sponsor, said the state must eventually address an infrastructure problem.
"Our roads and bridges are crumbling," Poole said. "We have a huge problem that is staring the state right in the face. We have to address it. Our roads and bridges are the spine of our everyday lives."
Opponents called it a tax increase on working families who cannot afford it.
"You are hurting a poor person," Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, said of the bill.