Mayoral candidate Carlucci backs proposed gas tax increase, but still has concerns

6-cents per gallon increase would raise nearly $1 billion over 30 years

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Anyone who has filled up their tank lately has probably noticed that gas prices are getting ready to hit $3 a gallon.

And that has some asking why Jacksonville city leaders are now thinking of doubling the local gas tax.

It’s a plan that is being floated by Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration and on Tuesday city council began talking about it.

The proposed plan would double the current gas tax from 6 cents to 12 cents, the maximum amount allowed under the law. But that’s giving many people a headache and they’re wondering if the city council should even be considering this at this time, particularly during a pandemic.

“I think that is ridiculous. There is no purpose in that it’s only going to upset people more,” said Jacksonville resident Lashad Green.

If you've been to the gas pump, you already know prices are climbing toward 3 dollars a gallon.. And that's raising questions about WHY Jacksonville city leaders would choose now to float the idea of doubling the local gas tax. As news4jax reporter Jim Piggott shows us -- it has people at the pumps talking as well.

MORE | JTA CEO: Gas tax increase for new infrastructure ‘critical for our community’

City councilman and candidate for Jacksonville mayor Matt Carlucci brought up the gas tax proposal Tuesday during a city council finance meeting.

Legislation to raise the tax has not been introduced yet but Curry has released a list of more than $900 million worth of road, drainage and transportation projects that would be funded by the 6-cent increase in the local gas tax.

Carlucci said he needs to know the project list won’t change down the line and that there will be some type of oversite to make sure they are done.

“I am not tone deaf about gas prices going up. The gas prices also come down. But our city needs a lot of work for disrepair that’s gone ignored for a long time but we also need to do this for our future,” Carlucci said.

Curry’s Chief of Staff Jordan Elsbury said Tuesday the project list isn’t set in stone.

The mayor is expected to address the gas tax plan this week, but it’s expected the council will be asked to vote on the matter in the coming months.

Right now, the majority of the local gas tax goes to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. That is likely to shift if approved and will be split 50-50 with JTA and the city.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.