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Jacksonville gas tax extension debate

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Updated: 12/20/2013 12:01 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's a tax you may not even realize you pay. It's coming out of your pocket every time you fill up. Jacksonville's own local gas tax is 6 cents per gallon. And it's getting ready to expire.

Richie Haugk owns the Super Food Truck. He started his mobile business a year ago. And business is good. But it isn't cheap to keep business booming. He fills the truck up with fuel once a week.

"It's about $100 every time we do. We fill it all the way up," he said.

Service at the food truck depends on gas. And Mayor Alvin Brown wants to send some relief his way. The local 6 cent gas tax all drivers pay expires in 2016. The mayor wants to do away with it.

But City Council President Bill Gulliford is proposing a 20-year local gas tax extension. And he'd also like the city to cash in on part of that 6 cents.

"(In my proposal), 5 cents goes back to the JTA (Jacksonville Transportation Authority) for specific road improvements and new road projects. A penny comes back to the city. Eighty percent of that (penny) goes to a maintenance fund to maintain city streets and roads, and then the other 20 percent will go toward the bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvement projects," he said.

Haugk understands how taxes work and likes being able to help. But he thinks some relief behind the wheel could so more for the city -- and the economy.

"I do know taxes do pay for things and it is a necessary thing, but just personally, I would appreciate it if we didn't have it, and it's a very good stimulus, as well," he said.

The gas tax brings in about $27 million a year for Jacksonville.

There is some discussion happening now on specifically what to use the 6 cents for. Some council members are concerned how JTA will fare if the city only gives it 5 of the 6 cents.

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Papakilo - 12/19/2013 6:59 PM
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SPEND, SPEND, SPEND, That’s all the city council believes in. Just a few months ago they jacked up our tax rate, and turned around and spent huge amounts for the stadium (which should not cost tax payers a cent), then they spend even more on more projects which will not benefit tax payers. Now they want to widen the interstate bridge, and other projects which provide no return to tax payers. Now they want to extend the 6% gas tax which is supposed to expire in 2016. WHERE DOES IT STOP? I believe the elected officials need to take a 20 or 40% pay reduction, and make them realize how most of Jacksonvilles’ tax payers feel with reduced hours, and pay. Now the Minimum wage increase, WHICH SERVES NO REAL PURPOSE, EXCEPT INCREASE ALL COSTS FOR EVERYONE. In one year the folks who received the minimum wage increase, will be right back where they started. WHEN WILL FOLKS FIGURE OUT…RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE ACCOMPLISHES NOTHING BUT RAISE THE COST OF EVERYTHING? Many men can't get jobs because many illegals work for under the table pay. Our high school graduates and college students have difficulty finding "entrance level" jobs because non-citizens and illegal aliens are competing and getting the jobs. Raising the "minimum Wage" does nothing to help entrance level youth gain experience. All it does is cause a "domino effect" with ALL wages, costs, and the minimum wage earner is right back where he started. Minimum wage IS NOT MEANT TO BE A LIVING WAGE. It is meant for entrance level unskilled individuals to gain work skills and knowledge so they can get a better job.
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