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No more gas tax?

5:34 AM, Jun 26, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- While prices at the pump have been falling, they could always be lower.

One State Office wants to see that happen. The Florida Transportation Commission has floated the idea of abolishing the gas tax.

"That's what's wrong with America, you pay tax, tax, taxes on everything," said driver Brian Barton.

So you would think a proposal to get rid of the gas tax in Florida would be right up Brian Barton's alley... but not so fast.

"I don't know what's going on with that state tax, I'm not sure about that, it's a lot of miles getting around Jacksonville," he said.

In an effort to replenish the State Transportation Trust Fund, the Florida Transportation Commission has floated the idea of abolishing gas taxes, and instead taxing drivers on how much they hit the road.

"You ride from the Northside to the beach, that's a trip. That's almost an out of town trip," said Barton.

At 27 miles to the gallon in his car, Barton pays federal, state, and local taxes for every mile he drives.

But the Transportation Commission argues that people who drive hybrids, or electric cars aren't paying their fare share to keep up the roads.

So instead of being taxed at the pump, the commission is looking at taxing people on their mileage.

Either through a GPS inside their cars, or an annual check when drivers renew their registration.

And while Burton isn't benefiting from great gas mileage, or no gas at all, he doesn't think the new proposal is fair.

"If they went with electric, they should be able to slide with the gas tax, why penalize everybody? If they're smart enough to get around it, why make them go down with it," he said.

The Transportation Commission says any changes would have to be approved by the legislature, but a change in the next few years will be essential to keeping up Florida's roads.

First Coast News

Kaitlyn Ross, First Coast News

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