RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - In Russell County, Alabama and every county in the state, you’ll see some blue signs around by the roadside that mention “Re-building Alabama.”
That means a very specific tax is funding the consruction project in that area. It’s Alabama’s newly increased fuel tax.
Prior to the passage of new fuel taxes in Alabama just two years ago, it hadn’t happened prior to that since Bill Clinton took office in the White House - the first time in 1992. Now the pennies are paving roads.
Alabamians are paying more at the pump and were sold the fact by the legislature that if they would pay more for gas, the roads in the state could be paved and repaired faster - all thanks to an increase in the state’s gasoline taxes.
And the dollars have begun turning into asphalt.
“It was incremental. Started out at 6% and went up to 8, then to 10%.What we’re seeing is it will be flexible, the tax moves up or down with the construction index,” said Chance Corbett, Russell County Commission Chair.
Chance Corbett with the Russell County Commission says the work is getting done.
“The great thing about this money is it’s resurfacing existing paved roads, but it’s getting roads we wouldn’t have been able to pave for years down the road with budget money,” said Corbett.
And in some cases, roads will see fresh asphalt that otherwise would be decades away from repavement.
“What we’re seeing for the money in this county is that we’re paving roads that we’ve not been able to pave. Roads that would have taken us years to fund to be paved are getting paved,” said Corbett.
In certain construction areas, you’ll see signs and they indicate your fuel tax dollars are at work.
Russell County alone will spend almost two million dollars on road resurfacing this year