Out today, July 9, 2020, Robert Poole, the esteemed fellow at the Reason Foundation, authored a policy brief for the James Madison Institute on the future of transportation taxes in Florida. Poole’s 12-page brief outlines what Florida may need to do to plug the future decline of fuel taxes in Florida.
Whenever you fill up your vehicle at the gas station, you are not only paying for the cost of the gas but also federal, state and local taxes. Those taxes are supposed to be used to help the transportation budgets for those governments. As fewer people are driving on the roads, vehicles become more fuel efficient, and we have more electric cars on the roadways, there is less automotive gas being consumed, and less taxes being collected.
Poole argues through his brief that Florida convert from a tax per-gallon of fuel model to a tax per-mile driven model. He argues this would be a fairer process as those using the roads more would pay more and those using it less would pay less.
On average, Floridians pay just under sixty cents per gallon of gasoline purchased, which includes federal and local fuel taxes. Some counties/cities may be slightly different; however, this is the average for the state.
Under the proposal by Poole, some would pay more and others less in taxes as it relates to their vehicle maintenance cost each year. This is precisely Poole’s point in the brief. Those who use the roadways more will pay more, while those who use it less would pay less.
We will see if Florida lawmakers take up the change or not next year or in coming years. Either way, the brief is an interesting read on the subject, no matter if you agree or disagree with the proposal.