Millennials Have Mixed Feelings About The Gas Tax

Millennials share how they feel the new gas tax is a necessary burden.

By Jennifer Johns
News Reporter

This year, the tax on gasoline has been set to increase from 18 cents for the first time since 1992.

In March, Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill to increase the gas tax by 10 cents over the next three years. The bill passed with 28-6 majority, but millennials have mixed views about it.

“I don’t love that gas is taxed more now, but I don’t really have a choice,” said Elisa Rouse, a radiologic technologist at Skelton Chiropractic Center Inc. “I have to get from point A to B, so I’ll just deal with it.”

Increases in taxes are not popular among voters as a whole. In February, the Alabama Forestry Association conducted a survey of how Alabamians felt about infrastructure and a change in the gas tax. About 50 percent of registered voters who took the survey agreed that the roads and bridges needed to be repaired, but 55 percent of those individuals only agreed with a 3 cent increase in gas sales tax. In contrast, 11 percent agreed to a 10 cent increase, matching Ivey’s bill.

“I think federal funding needs to come from somewhere to improve our highways,” said Myles Taste, a political science major at the University of Alabama. “It’s something that people have exposure to everyday and has a lasting effect on the economy.”

Taste said the tax is a lose-lose situation because people would have also been opposed to an increase on income taxes. He said he thought a 10 cent raise wasn’t a large deal.

The first increase in the gas tax will be this year by 6 cents. The plan will then raise the tax by 2 cents for the following two years.

According to an article by AL.com, 66 percent of the new revenue, about $198 million over three years, would go to the state. The article said an apportioned amount of revenue will go to finance a bond issue to widen and deepen the shipping channel in Mobile Bay.

“A car with gas but poor roads will cost me more in the long run,” said Anna Bell, an art major at UA. “Although I don’t want to see prices increasing, I purchase my gas under the assumption that I will get to use it on the roads.”