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Gubernatorial candidates pledge to return road money to county

The two Republican finalists for Alabama’s governor, as well as the Democratic nominee, are pledging to return a greater portion of Madison’s tax dollars to the county if they are elected.
Dr. Robert Bentley and Bradley Byrne, who will meet in the July 13 GOP runoff, and Ron Sparks, who defeated Artur Davis in last week’s Democratic primary, signed a pledge to return additional fuel tax dollars back to Madison County to help meet increased transportation infrastructure needs associated with Base Realignment and Closure.
The support comes on the heels of a September 2009 county commission resolution asking that each candidate commit that at least 80 percent of the fuel tax revenue collected in Madison County and sent to the state will be spent in the county itself, as opposed to other projects.
The resolution was introduced by Commissioner Mo Brooks, who won the GOP nomination to the District Five Congres-sional seat last week. He faces Democrat Steve Raby in November.
Similar resolutions were passed by the cities of Madison and Huntsville.
The resolutions are designed to eliminate the long-standing problem of Madison’s tax dollars not being returned to the county in equal measure. According to the county commission, from 1990-2005, the ratio of expenditures by the Alabama Department of Transpor-tation for roads in the county vs. the estimated revenues paid through the fuel tax was 53 cents on the dollar, meaning the county receives a little more than half for every dollar it puts in the state coffers. Similar fast-growing counties receive as much as $4.38 in road expenditures for every dollar sent to Mont-gomery.
Local officials said this money is needed to help with the influx of people coming to Redstone Arsenal through the BRAC program. The resolution also pledged to monitor whoever is elected to see if they keep their tax pledge.

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