Davis: Gasoline Tax Revenues Not Enough to Resurface Roads | Local News
County commissioners will discuss on November 9 ways to generate money to pay for road resurfacing.
One option will be to increase the current sales tax from 6 cents to 7 cents, via a referendum.
But since The Chronicle reported this last week, the newspaper has received dozens of emails and phone calls asking the same question: Doesn’t our gas tax pay for the resurfacing?
Yes, but not enough.
Citrus County collects about 15 cents in state and county taxes for every gallon of fuel sold at the pump. The money is collected from a variety of local and state taxes on gasoline.
Colleen Scott, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, provided some answers:
Q: How much does the county get in gas tax revenue each year?
A: In fiscal 2019 it was $ 8.9 million. In 2020, it was $ 8.8 million. Final receipts have not yet fallen for 2021.
Q: Where does the money go?
A: With the grants included, over $ 5 million is for road resurfacing, $ 2 million for the County Road 491 widening project, $ 2.1 million for road maintenance and 1 , $ 8 million for transportation obligations.
“We are forecasting $ 1.4 million in funding for fiscal 2022, which is a great advantage for funding these projects,” Scott said.
Citrus County needs about $ 10 million per year to re-surf all residential roads over a 20 to 25 year cycle, âaccording to County Administrator Randy Oliver.
This year, the county is funding them to the tune of $ 4 million and is falling behind, he added.
County commissioner Holly Davis said the board must consider other sources of funding for resurfacing the roads as gasoline tax revenues decline.
She attributed this to the ever increasing number of electric cars on the market as well as more fuel efficient vehicles.
Davis said she would support a sales tax increase of half a cent or a cent, but only with a sunset clause to allow taxpayers to see if the county was being good stewards of that money.
But in the end, she said, voters would decide the sales tax issue by referendum.
âThere is absolutely a tsunami coming in that will erase a lot of our gasoline taxes and we have to think of a way to deal with this problem,â Davis said.