Governor Ivey’s Rebuild Alabama Plan will provide for the investment of much-needed funding into our crumbling road and bridge systems. Rebuild Alabama is designed to provide a long-term maintenance and improvement plan for Alabama’s infrastructure through an incremental fuel tax increase over the next three years, indexed to the National Highway Construction Cost Index, and an annual registration fee for electric vehicles. The Plan prevents the tax from increasing by more than 1 cent per gallon at a time and will ultimately result in an overall increase of only 10 cents per gallon. This plan will allow local governments to improve low-volume roads that are currently ineligible for federal funds. For the small cost to an average driver of roughly $4.58 per month, the Rebuild Alabama Plan is anticipated to have a statewide impact of $750 million annually in infrastructure investment. The Plan provides unprecedented accountability and oversight of revenues for transportation and restricts any funds from being used for projects not related to transportation.
As Montgomery continues to work to attract new business, industry, visitors, and talent, while serving as a central thoroughfare for statewide and inter-state commerce, we must guarantee that our infrastructure – our highways, bridges, and local roads - are adequately funded, safe, and decongested. Currently, Alabama drivers are more likely to be killed in a traffic accident than driver in 44 other states and increased traffic on corridors like the I-85/I-65 interchange continue to cause major delays which effects our ability to conduct business and accommodate the needs of our major industrial operators as well as military, DoD and government operations.
The gas tax in Alabama has not been increased since 1992. Meanwhile, more than 30 other states have invested additional resources in their transportation systems over the last four years. The Alabama legislature has a once in a generation opportunity to improve the quality of life for all citizens by addressing the declining condition of our infrastructure systems statewide. Failure to act now will hinder our ability to attract projects and create jobs, which would do a major disservice to all Alabamians and will only continue to cost citizens in the form of increased traffic delays, increased fuel consumption, increased road and bridge maintenance costs, and increased emissions – not to mention reduced roadway safety. The more we delay, the more we will pay.
Position of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber strongly supports Governor Ivey’s Rebuild Alabama Act and has joined with the State’s “Big 5” major metro area Chambers of Commerce to form a coalition of support around this critical issue. The Montgomery Chamber believes that improved infrastructure is a top priority critical to economic development and the overall quality of life of citizens. The Rebuild Alabama Plan will help fund projects across the state, fueling job growth and ensuring that the Montgomery region is able to successfully compete for new business, better support military and defense missions, strengthen existing small and large businesses, enhance tourism growth, and support the workforce. The Governor’s plan is a long-term solution to improve transportation infrastructure and will help to leverage federal funding opportunities for further infrastructure investment.
ABOUT THE MONTGOMERY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Montgomery Chamber of Commerce is a fully-integrated economic development organization that works to improve the business community of Montgomery, Alabama, through the creation and preservation of jobs. Key focus areas of the Montgomery Chamber include recruiting industry and expanding existing businesses, developing minority and small businesses, growing tourism and convention development, expanding military and federal affairs, and fostering cyber and innovation programs. A long history of trusted public-private partnerships has allowed Montgomery to grow its thriving workforce, improve quality of life and attract more jobs to the region.
Anna Buckalew, President & CEO Elect
Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce