JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you think gas prices are high now, get ready. Mayor Lenny Curry is proposing that Duval County double the local gas tax from 6 to 12 cents per gallon to fund major transportation and other infrastructure improvements.
The tax would generate hundreds of millions of dollars over 25 years. That income would be split between the city and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and used for both road and other projects, including paying for septic tank replacement and other unfunded city projects.
“There are tons of roadway resurfacing projects all over the county, in every single council district, that needs desperately to be funded,” said Jordan Elsbury, Curry’s chief of staff. “This an opportunity to fund them.”
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority, which currently receives most of the local gas tax revenue, would get half of the increase. Among the JTA’s plans for the money would be various road projects, and changes to the Skyway system and spend $16 million to buy a second ferry for A1A at Mayport.
This major tax increase would have to be approved by the City Council.
Councilman Sam Newby might be Council president in the summer when this would be voted on before next year’s budget is debated.
“At this point, I cannot say until I see the plan,” Newby said. “I’m for improving infrastructure because it’s been a broken promise for over 50 years.”
Other Council members say doubling the gas tax is going to fuel a lot of debate, particularly at this time during the pandemic and with prices on the rise anyway.
The idea will be formally presented soon but already some Jacksonville motorist are reacting like Tomeria Kendrick
“Gas is high right now. I don’t think I’ll like that. I’ll move,” Kendrick said.
News4Jax was told Curry will formally unveil the plan soon, but no specific date was given.