Gas tax increase could affect local businesses

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The state of Alabama gas tax hasn't had been raised in over 20 years, but an increase is expected to be proposed when the legislative session begins in March.

Alabama lawmakers are exploring if an increased gas tax is the solution to poor road conditions and growing traffic concerns.

Businesses that purchase gas regularly to provide services would feel the impact immediately. "It's gonna cost us more to operate, which is gonna make us pass the price onto the consumer," said Chris Grissim owner of Mow Hawk Lawn Care.

He is concerned that the increase in gas tax might result in customers searching for cheaper options, even ones that are not licensed or insured.

"It might force customers to go with a cheaper route, just find a high school kid with a lawnmower to cut their grass instead of a real company," said Grissim.

Senator Arthur Orr says in the past several years half a billion dollars has been taken from the Alabama Department of Transportation and diverted to other government agencies.

"That would be great to not have to go through near as many potholes and things like that but it kind of seems like there is a lot of waste in the way money is spent. If they would use their money wisely they wouldn't have to increase the prices," says Grissim.

According to Gas Buddy, Alabama's gas tax is the 11th cheapest in the nation, at 18 cents per gallon. Grissim says an increase would affect his business, one way or another.

"If the tax is increased, we might have to lay someone off. And then we can't take on as much business so it hurts us all around," says Grissim.

Grissom believes a gas tax will also hurt other businesses who rely on fuel for services. The Alabama legislative session begins March 5 and runs through June 18.

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