Pasco commission considers gas tax - WFLA News Channel 8

Pasco commission considers gas tax

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NEW PORT RICHEY, FL (WFLA) -

It could soon cost you a lot more to fill up your tank in Pasco county. The county commission will vote Tuesday on a proposal to increase the gas tax by 5 cents a gallon.

Pasco County's Public Works Director Michael Garrett says all of the money would go towards regular road maintenance.

"Roads are deteriorating at a faster rate than we can fix them and that's been going on for about five years now," explain Garrett.

He says the Public Works department's budget has been slashed by 40 percent since 2008, which leaves no room to fix potholes, trim trees, and mow medians.

"This is a safety issue. It's a quality of life issue," he said. "You have to maintain what you have or you're going to have dirt roads everywhere."

Garrett said the extra funding from the tax would not increase the department's budget. It would bring it back to where it was five years ago.

Not all drivers say they're ready to pay more at the pump.

"Gas is a necessity and a lot of people are older, they come here to retire and they don't want to pay these higher prices on gas," said Pasco county resident Glen Bennett.

Garrett said there is a $64 million backlog of major roads that need to be re-paved right now.

"Part of that money will help do that. It's going to take us 15 years just to take care of that backlog," explained Garrett.

If you want to have a say, commissioners will open the floor to the public before they vote Tuesday night. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the old Pasco County Courthouse.

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