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Gas tax increased on Thursday

Alabama’s gas tax will increase by 2 cents Thursday. That is when the second phase of the Rebuild Alabama Act goes into effect.

Alabama lawmakers passed the Rebuild Alabama Act in 2019. It increased the state gas tax by 10 cents over three years:

• 2019: 6 cents increase

• 2020: 2 cents increase

• 2021: 2 cents increase

The money is supposed to go to road and bridge repairs.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Covington County Commission chairman Greg White said gas tax funds have gone down.

“COVID has definitely reduced travel,” White said. “Our gas tax receipts are 100 percent contingent on how much travel and how many gallons consumed. We are off, but I don’t think it is a significant amount.”

With Covington County being the largest county in the state of Alabama, White said the gas tax is important in order to fix roads and bridges.

“Our budget only allowed us the money to do daily maintenance,” White said. “We had minimal money for new projects. The gas tax money goes 100 percent to new improvement. So, it just gives us the ability to chip away at long term issues that we are facing.”