Jacksonville City Council votes 13-6 to move forward with gas tax, final vote next week

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Neighbors in Jacksonville are one step closer to hundreds-of-millions of dollars worth of road, drainage and transportation projects getting underway.

Today, City Council voted to move forward with the gas tax, 13-to-6.

One of the projects that we could see funded by this gas tax, is The Emerald Trail.

14 city council members voted to put $132M of the money from the proposed gas tax— toward The Emerald Trail project.

It’s an investment some council members say is a project that would not only bring neighborhoods together, but attract tourists to Jacksonville as well.

“Sometimes our neighborhoods don’t know each other like they should. We don’t have ways to connect, to get to know each other,” Councilman Matt Carlucci, At-Large Group 4, said to his colleagues during today’s committee meeting.

13 other city council members would like to see the proposed tax used for what’s often referred to as a project that could help Jacksonville be a stand-out city.

Those who voted against it don’t believe it should be put ahead of other projects.

The proposed gas tax would increase the 6-cents-per-gallon in place now, for another 10 years. It would also add 6 cents for 30 years, bringing to total to 12 cents.

Councilman Garrett Dennis, of District 19, is one of the 13 city council members who voted to move forward with the gas tax...as well as his amendment to help local businesses.

“Of the billion dollars, $250 million Will be procured through small local businesses. $250 million will stay right here in Jacksonville and be contracted to small local businesses,” Dennis told Cole.

Councilman Danny Becton, of District 11, is one of the 6 who voted against the gas tax.

“What influence my vote is, the fact that we don’t have to raise taxes to gain the infrastructure and septic tank improvements that everyone is selling. It’s a false narrative that we have to choose between raising taxes and having these improvements.”

Becton proposed an alternative to the gas tax, bill 2021-289. You can read more about it and see the bill’s progress here.