Phenix City Scores Legal Victory as Judge Orders Russell County to Pay Gasoline Tax Proceeds

PHENIX CITY, Ala. – A recent ruling by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge, Honorable Brooke E. Reid, has concluded a long-standing dispute between the City of Phenix City and Russell County over the distribution of gasoline tax proceeds. The lawsuit was initiated in 2018 when Russell County ceased paying the gasoline tax proceeds to Phenix City, claiming that a subsequent law had repealed a local act of the legislature passed in 1968. However, Phenix City contested this, arguing that the Local Act was never officially repealed and that Russell County had no right to withhold funds.

Due to conflicts of interest, Judge Reid was appointed to preside over the case, and on January 10, 2024, she delivered a 10-page order. In her ruling, Judge Reid stated that Russell County is obliged to pay Phenix City its share of gasoline revenue as dictated by the Local Act. The judge not only ordered Russell County to immediately resume the payments but also scheduled a hearing to determine the amount owed to Phenix City in arrears.

Phenix City, represented by lawyer Chan Gamble, hailed this ruling as a “huge win.” James McKoon, one of the City’s attorneys, explained that Phenix City originally implemented the gasoline tax to finance road maintenance and construction efforts due to its population size and heavy traffic. McKoon expressed hope that Russell County had set aside sufficient funds for the arrears, as the owed amount could potentially reach 2 million dollars.

The City of Phenix City will be hosting a Q&A session regarding this case at 2 p.m. at the City Council Chambers located at 1111 Broad Street.

To summarize, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Brooke E. Reid has ruled in favor of the City of Phenix City in their dispute against Russell County over the distribution of gasoline tax proceeds. The court determined that Russell County must resume paying the gasoline tax to Phenix City, as mandated by the Local Act passed in 1968. A hearing will be held to determine the amount of arrears owed to Phenix City.