County commissioners in Osceola County, Florida approved a $0.05 per gallon increase in the county’s gasoline tax, telling residents the hike was needed to fund transportation infrastructure.
Starting in January 2016, the county’s gasoline tax rate will increase to $0.12 per gallon.
As reported by WESH-TV 2, county commissioner Brandon Arrington says the tax increase’s impact on residents is mitigated by non-residents’ use of the county’s roads.
“Forty-two percent of our gas tax in Osceola County comes from folks outside of Osceola County. Boy, doesn’t it make sense to have them bear burden of infrastructure they use every day than working class folks that have been spoken so eloquently about it here,” Arrington told WESH-TV.
At the meeting, Osceola County resident Jean Walsh told reporters the tax would hurt her bottom line.
“You have an awful lot of us seniors out here on [a] low-income fixed budget, and it’s really gonna be a kick in the budget,” she said.
In Fiscal Year 2013, the last full fiscal year for which the Board of Osceola County Commissioners (BOCC) had actual revenue totals, the county collected $6.57 million in gas tax revenue. The Board predicts gas tax revenue to increase 7 percent from 2013 levels, from $6.57 million to $7.03 million.
Appropriated spending of BOCC’s Transportation Trust Fund money, however, is set to increase 32.7 percent over the same time period.