Gas Tax Relief proposed by Commissioner Storms by Mitch E. Perry

06/07/06

With Gas prices continuing to hover near $3 a gallon of gas, The Hillsborough County Commission supported a motion offered by Ronda Storms today to ask the County Administrator to find out how to give motorists a break at the pumps by seeking to determine if the County could provide a suspension of local gas taxes.

Storms introduced the measure by acknowledging that the County is flush with revenues this year, and that tax relief at the pump is a way to go (roll tape#1 o.q.�that gas tax relief�)

Commissioner Storms is running for Higher office this fall – in her case, the State Senate. Several other Commissioners are running for office, and Storms, in a rare moment of unanimity, called on all to follow her lead (roll tape#2 o.q.�join it�)

Storms also suggested that the County lobby their Federal lobbyist, and the Hillsborough delegation in the state legislature if a special session is called for in Tallahassee.

Mike Meryle is director of Debt Management for the County. He said that as far as he knew, local gas taxes are supposed to go towards Bond Holders. He said he’d need to research the issue further.

The resolution was endorsed by all Commissioners, with the exception of Mark Sharpe, who initially wasn’t certain that the County Government had the authority to suspend the gas tax for 90 days….(roll tape#3 o.q.� of some sort�)

Commissioner Kathy Castor argued that people should send a message to the Oil companies by conserving when they can. And she mentioned a proposed ethanol blending facility at the Port of Tampa (roll tape#4 o.q.’and lower demand�)

The County Commission will discuss the issue again at their next meeting later this month.

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