Alabama Forestry Association offers opinion on infrastructure improvements

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Special to the
Opelika Observer

The Alabama Forestry Association agrees that there is a need for additional financial resources for road and bridge infrastructure. We support the idea of finding additional revenue streams to fund infrastructure improvements for the state.
However, before new taxes are considered, there must be:
(1) Transparency and accountability for existing expenditures. Taxpayers should be provided a full accounting including specific detail by project showing how the state’s existing fuel tax revenue has been spent in each of the last ten years.
(2) Strategic vision; Taxpayers should be provided a plan including specific detail by project showing how all revenues will be spent over the next ten years.
(3) Fiscal responsibility; Reduce or redirect existing revenues to offset or supplement any new taxes. New taxes, if any, should be limited in amount, targeted to specific projects, should expire once the project is completed and should not be used to issue any new debt.
“We conducted this survey to determine whether our long-standing position on addressing the need for additional revenue for roads and bridges continues to be consistent with the thoughts of Alabama’s taxpayers. We have long recognized the need to address infrastructure in the state and have supported past efforts to re-prioritize funding to roads and bridges, eliminate waste and increase transparency and accountability in spending. We believe that raising new taxes should be the option of last resort and, if new taxes are necessary, taxpayers should have a full accounting of how all taxes are being spent,” said Chris Isaacson Executive VP, Alabama Forestry Association.

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