Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

County Gas Tax Repeal to Be Voted on by Commission; If the 5-Cent Measure Is Repealed in a Vote on Monday, It Won't Disappear until Jan. 1, 2008

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

County Gas Tax Repeal to Be Voted on by Commission; If the 5-Cent Measure Is Repealed in a Vote on Monday, It Won't Disappear until Jan. 1, 2008

Article excerpt

Byline: KEVIN TURNER

NASSAU COUNTY - If the Nassau County Commission votes Monday to repeal a 5-cent per gallon tax on gasoline, Nassau County's existing roads will miss out on funding to resurface, rebuild and improve them.

County Administrator Mike Mahaney championed the 5-cent tax in early 2005, pointing to the fact that no matter how high Nassau County sets impact fees on new development, those proceeds can be used only to build new roads and other infrastructure that the new growth will cause.

Due to changes in state law that take effect in December, impact fee money can be used only for previously planned projects and can't be used to resurface existing roads, he said.

"What else are we going to use to maintain the existing 400 miles of roads?" Mahaney asked in a September interview.

County staff has listed about a dozen projects in November that stood to benefit from $1.1 million that the 5-cent tax, imposed on Nassau County gasoline Jan. 1, 2006, has raised. In East Nassau County, the first proceeds from the 5-cent tax would repair and improve 14th Street, Blue Heron Lane, Blue Heron Court, Oak Ridge Court, Egret Lane, Martin Lane, Amelia Road, Grove Park Circle, Forest Drive and various roads in Yulee Hills. In West Nassau County, the money would fix Church Drive in Bryceville, and Murhee, Ottis and Musselwhite roads.

On Jan. 17, Director of Engineering Services Douglas Seaman is to present to the commission whether 14 county roads and streets in line for $1.1 million worth of resurfacing improvements need any other repairs first. But that will be after a scheduled vote to repeal the tax that would pay for those projects.

The gas tax wasn't without its opponents when the County Commission voted to approve it June 13, 2005. At that time, Commissioner Marianne Marshall cast the lone vote against it, but it still passed under a needed "supermajority," or four votes of the five-member commission. …

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