Pasco County, Fla. commissioners voted September 9 to approve a 5-cents-per-gallon county fuel tax increase. The fuel tax increase is anticipated to generate $8 million annually in revenue for maintaining the county’s roads and bridges. The measure was approved by four of the five county commissioners.
Pasco attempted to pass a countywide five-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase in 2013, but failed after achieving only three of the four votes necessary to approve a measure. Of the two who dissented last year, Pasco County Commissioner Henry Wilson reversed his decision and approved the measure on Tuesday after stating that many citizens had appealed to him to approve the tax increase. Wilson, who was defeated in the August 26 primary and will be leaving office in November, said “It’s the best thing for the county.”
If the county fuel tax increase had not been approved, Pasco would have likely raised the county’s property tax in order to generate funds for local road maintenance. Another option that had been put forth by Wilson involved taxing income from real estate transfer fees, a move that would have required approval from the Florida Legislature and was not supported by the county’s local delegation.