JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s a hot topic among political leaders -- finding a way to give drivers at least some break from the soaring cost of gas.
Jacksonville City Council members have joined the trend.
In January, a 6-cent increase in the local gas tax hit the pumps. Now, council members are considering possibly suspending part of that increase.
As of Friday, according to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas in Florida was $4.12 -- about 10 cents less than a week ago. But the real question is, is that trend here to stay?
“I think it’s a little too early to say yet,” said Patrick De Haan, Gas Buddy head of petroleum.
De Haan has accurately predicted gas trends over the last few weeks.
His next prediction: “Motorists shouldn’t get too accustomed to falling prices. The price in Jacksonville was down about 15 cents a gallon last week, but wholesale prices are up, so we may see those decreases revert back to increases.”
And City Council members know people need relief. On Friday, they discussed whether to put a pause on a 4-cent portion of the gas tax that would be used for infrastructure projects, to lower costs at the pump.
However, that can’t happen overnight.
This meeting today was just that -- a meeting. To put the pause on the tax, new legislation would need to drafted, voted on and signed off on. That could take months.
“Bottom line, I think we’ll be in these $4, some stations under $4, for a little while. If there’s escalation in the Ukraine and Russia situation, we could go up more dramatically if the situation gets worse,” De Haan said.
Again, if the council does decide to move forward with putting a pause on the tax, the city says it has a plan to use extra COVID-19 relief money coming into the city in June to make up for the lost revenue.
But at this point, they are still very early in talks.