Seminole County to decide fate of 30-year gas tax



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Drivers in Seminole County have had an extra tax on their gas for the last 30 years. County officials said it's been funding crucial road maintenance.

Now it's up for a vote again local governments say they don't know what they would do without that money.

The gas tax would pay for projects like fixing pot holes and road repaving, street lights and signs, but local officials said if they lose that money, those improvements could come to a halt.

Since the 1980's Seminole County and all of its cities have divvied up the local option gas tax.

Six cents have been added to the cost of every gallon of gas drivers buy in the county, and in turn the local governments use the money for road maintenance.

On Tuesday county commissioners will vote on whether or not to keep that tax for another 30 years.

"I think I'm OK with that, as long as it's helping improve the streets and the condition of the road," said Sanford driver Chara Hall.

County officials said the tax generates about $11 million each year. The county receives about 64 percent of that. Each municipality gets a varying share that depends on their project load.

Lake Mary would receive the smallest cut at 2.2 percent. But the city manager said without it they probably wouldn't be able to fund their road resurfacing program that costs $300,000 dollars each year.

Sanford officials said their budget has already been slashed $4 million in 6 years, and maintaining their roads would also be a problem without their 9.5 percent of the tax.

"Since they aren't actually increasing anything, and they're just keeping it the way it is, then it really doesn't make a difference to me," said Altamonte Springs resident Amelia State.