J. Pepper Bryars: Three reasons why Alabama should stand up to the Freedom from Religion Foundation

An atheist group from Wisconsin has implicitly or directly threatened to sue more than 40 Alabama school systems, local governments, and elected officials during recent years over what they claim are violations of the constitution’s ban on the establishment of religion. The organization, called the Freedom from Religion Foundation, is often successful. Many give in after calculating potential attorney fees and the uncertain outcome of drawn out lawsuits. But perhaps it’s time Alabamians recall our state motto and “Dare Defend…

The Gas Tax: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The increased gas tax became law this week amid much Goat Hill fanfare, reminding me of a Clint Eastwood line from an epic western: “I’ve never seen so many men wasted so badly.”   The Alabama Policy Institute has said for weeks that improved state infrastructure is important, but that conservative principles must guide the increase: taxes should be the last resort, reforms should maximize every tax penny we already have, and offsets should come with any tax increase.  …

HUNTSVILLE RADIO: Lawmakers should cut grocery taxes if they raise the gas tax

API senior fellow J. Pepper Bryars appeared on WVNN 92.5 in Huntsville over the weekend to discuss the gas tax increase in Alabama and how lawmakers should off-set the move with a tax decrease of equal value elsewhere. Bryars mentioned that cutting the grocery tax would be a popular move. “If they’re going to ask Alabamians to pay an extra $300 at the gas station next year, they should allow them to save $300 at the grocery store,” he said.…

MOBILE RADIO: Should Alabama pass a stand-alone gas tax?

API senior fellow J. Pepper Bryars joined Pete Riehm’s Common Sense Radio show on Mobile’s 106.5 FM Thursday to discuss why the state legislature should cut taxes elsewhere, possibly on groceries, while raising the gas tax for roads, bridges, and port improvements. “If they’re going to ask us to pay $300 more a year at the gas station, then they ought to save us $300 a year at the grocery store,” Bryars explained. Read more about API’s revenue-neutral proposal here,…

J. Pepper Bryars: Why we should avoid an immediate special session for the gas tax

Many Alabamians, including the conservative-leaning Alabama Policy Institute, agree our state needs to increase funding for roads and bridges. And Governor Kay Ivey hasn’t yet ruled out calling the state legislature into a special session to raise the gas tax when lawmakers convene Tuesday in Montgomery. But is fast-tracking a $300 million tax increase a good idea? Probably not. True, calling lawmakers into a special session would free them from having to multitask the dozens of other issues they’d normally…

HUNTSVILLE RADIO: Gas tax increase should be offset with a tax decrease on something else

API Senior Fellow J. Pepper Bryars recently discussed the proposal to raise Alabama’s gas tax on the Fred Holland Show, 105.3 FM WTKI in Huntsville. Bryars said that if our lawmakers raise the gas tax to increase funding for roads and bridges, they ought to decrease taxes on something else so that the total burden on Alabama’s taxpayers doesn’t increase. He also called for transparency in the process, and said that we should take several weeks to examine the proposal rather…

J. Pepper Bryars: Gas tax increase should be ‘Even Steven’ – raise one tax, lower another

Can Alabamians support raising our gas tax for better roads while remaining true to our belief in limited government and protecting a beneficial, low-tax environment for our businesses, our families, and our future? Yes … if taxes are lowered elsewhere so that the overall amount of money taken from the people doesn’t increase. The concept is called “revenue neutral tax reform.” It essentially means that if Alabama raises one tax by $100 million next year, then it should have a…

A Conservative Approach to the Gas Tax

The Alabama Policy Institute is proud to offer a conservative approach to infrastructure funding that balances the needs of our state with the state’s obligation to govern appropriately and wisely. Click here or the link below to learn more. https://www.alabamapolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/API-Gas-Tax-Position-Paper-Final-v8.0-11FEB19.pdf

HUNTSVILLE RADIO: Rachel Bryars discusses 4 Alabama Accountability Act myths

API Senior Fellow Rachel Blackmon Bryars recently joined Fred Holland on 105.3 and 1450 WTKI Talk Huntsville to tackle four of the biggest myths surrounding the Alabama Accountability Act and the tax-credit scholarships that help low-income students transfer into a different school: -- Myth #1: Scholarships steal money from public schools -- Myth #2: Even high performing schools that don't have any students transferring out on scholarship still "lose money" -- Myth #3: A University of Alabama study proves school…