Legislature(2003 - 2004)
2003-03-05 House JournalFull Journal pdf
2003-03-05 House Journal Page 0424 HB 156 HOUSE BILL NO. 156 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: "An Act increasing the motor fuel tax and repealing the special tax rates on blended fuels; and providing for an effective date." was read the first time and referred to the Transportation and Finance Committees. The following fiscal note(s) apply: 1. Zero, Dept. of Environmental Conservation 2. Fiscal, Dept. of Revenue 2003-03-05 House Journal Page 0425 The Governor's transmittal letter dated March 5, 2003, follows: "Dear Speaker Kott: Under Authority of article III, section 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am transmitting a bill that would increase the state's highway motor fuel tax rate from 8 cents a gallon to 20 cents a gallon and repeal the special rate for gasohol. In order for Alaska's economy to grow and diversify, we must expand and improve our transportation infrastructure. To do this, we must adequately fund highway construction and maintenance activities. Currently, Alaska spends nearly $50 million per year in general funds to match our federal highway capital program and nearly $60 million dollars per year on maintenance. At the current eight cents per gallon, Alaska's highway motor fuel tax rate is now the lowest in the nation. Even after the proposed increase, thirty-eight states would have higher rates, and Alaska's fuel tax would be at the 20 cent national average. In fact, had the tax rate been indexed for inflation when it was initiated in 1961, it would be nearly 2½ times the rate proposed in the bill. Under existing law, revenue from the motor fuel tax used on roads and highways is deposited in a highway fuel tax account in the general fund. This fund is available for maintenance and construction of highway projects and ferries. This bill also deletes AS 43.40.010(a)(4) and AS 43.40.010(b)(4), which provide a special tax rate for blended fuel. Working with industry and private citizens, Alaska no longer requires the use of oxygenated fuels to meet air quality standards. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires that the state be able to rapidly re-impose a requirement for the use of oxy fuels should air quality deteriorate. This legislation will not impact the state's ability to do so. This proposal represents a modest, user-pays approach to expanding and improving our state's transportation infrastructure. 2003-03-05 House Journal Page 0426 I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure. Sincerely, /s/ Frank H. Murkowski Governor"