While not an easy decision, the Board moved forward with the Local Option Fuel Tax because it would provide a guaranteed funding source that can used annually to address the many road issues throughout the County. Florida Statute, Chapter 336.025, mandates that funds collected be solely used for construction of new roads, the reconstruction or resurfacing of existing paved roads, or the repaving of existing roads to increase road capacity. It cannot be used for routine maintenance, or to cover any other type of service or debt of the Board.
Additionally, the Board was looking for a funding mechanism that wouldn't fall solely on property owners through an ad valorem tax. Though not everyone is a property owner that contributes to the tax base, every person residing here utilizes the County roads and contributes to the wear and tear of the surface. To this point, by passing this local option Fuel Tax, the Board lowered the proposed millage rate increase in attempt to shift the financial burden so it doesn't fall solely on taxpayers. Furthermore, a large portion of gas sold is purchased by visitors to Nassau County. According to a document from Visa Vue Travel obtained by the Tourist Development Council, 441,426 visitors spent $17,163,295 on fuel east of I-95 in 2017. This does not include gas purchased on the west side of the County or purchased by other methods such as cash, American Express, Master Card, etc. Through this tax, the County will receive revenue from tourists that don't contribute to the tax base, but contribute to the breakdown of the road surfaces.
To put the results of this ordinance in context, a 20 gallon tank vehicle, that was completely empty at the time of fill up, would cost the average user an additional $1 at the pump. If you assume this vehicle is filled up once per week, then the total approximate annual cost to the average user would be $52 for the year.
Should you have any concerns or questions, please contact the Office of Management & Budget or the County Manager's Office at (904) 530-6010.
County Manager's Office