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City Council leader wants to extend gas tax

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Updated: 1/14 8:32 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Drivers like Joshua Brangenberg agree.

"Gas prices could always be lower," he said.

But City Council President Bill Gulliford is looking to extend the gas tax for another 20 years.  He says it's necessary "because it would be $100 million worth of projects pretty quick. And that means jobs, and that means improvement to infrastructure and all those things."

He said "all those things" include road maintenance, better bicycle and pedestrian lanes, and keeping the ferry afloat.

"It's continuing the ferry for 20 years," said Gulliford.

However City Councilman Stephen Joost is tapping the brakes.

He said, "We need a better system, not an outdated system."

He said Gulliford's guess on the projected income could be a little lofty as more and more drivers turn to alternative fuel sources.

Joost said, "We all know in 10 years, 20 years from now, the fuel system is going to be completely different than what we're using today."

Gulliford said, "What difference does it make?  If you bond it, you know you're going to have to find a source to fund that.  So I would suspect it's going to be a tax on alternative fuels."

Brangenberg said, "I'd probably be willing to pay the 6 cents if they were using the funds for a good cause, making sure that the roads are actually kept in good condition."

The debate rages on. A public hearing was set for Tuesday night. Gulliford says a final vote is probably a couple of months away.

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