Marsh: Even with gas tax hike, Alabama ‘still the lowest cumulative tax state on state and local taxes in the country’
Last week’s passage of the Rebuild Alabama Act means Alabamians will be paying more at the pump beginning this fall.
In September, the tax per gallon will increase by six cents, with additional increases coming in October 2020 and 2021 that will result in a total of 10 cents more per gallon.
However, despite that increase, State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) insists Alabama will maintain its claim on being the lowest taxed state in the country.
In an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Marsh explained how he saw the increase as necessary to improve upon economic development.
“[L]isten, nobody likes taxes,” Marsh said. “I get it. I don’t like them. But we’ve done some good things in the state of Alabama that has put us in a position to address this. Since 2010, since I’ve been in leadership, the average mean income for an Alabamian is up 20 percent. The state government, the size of the state government – we have some 7,000 less state employees. We’re 15 percent smaller as a state government. We have 200,000 more of our people working. We’ve created great economic policy. The state is moving in the right direction.”
“But we’ve reached a point – we are at a point right now because the last tax on infrastructure was passed in 1992, 27 years ago, that we were at the point that all we could do was keep up what we had,” he continued. “And to a limited point there. We had 400 bridges in the state right now slated for replacement or repair. We have several of our major arteries that we can’t do any additional infrastructure to. We are at a point that we have got to make a decision – are we going to invest in infrastructure, thus creating more economic opportunity for our citizens, or are we just going to stay where we are? And this was the decision.”
Marsh went on explain to “Capitol Journal” host Don Dailey that Alabama remains a low-tax state compared to all other 49 states.
“And guess what, Don – the beauty of this is we are still the lowest cumulative tax state on state and local taxes in the country,” Marsh added. “Even with the implementation with this gas tax, we’re still the lowest in the country. So, we’re in a pretty good situation – low tax base and putting big money into an infrastructure package.”