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More new taxes possible for Brevard County

County commissioners to vote on proposed penny-a-gallon gas tax increase

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County voters on Election Day decided to pay themselves for cleaning up the Indian River Lagoon. Now, there's another call for new taxes asking drivers to pay more at the pump, and public transportation advocate Sara Ann Conkling doesn't even need your vote.

State law says she needs support from four out of five county commissioners to require drivers to pay a penny more a gallon to fill up to raise $2.5 million to serve the county's two million annual bus riders.

"I just have to believe that our county is good enough to want to do that for the people who really need it," Conkling said. "The service we have is outstanding. We just need more of it."

Conkling wants leaders to fund Space Coast Area Transit roughly an extra 25 percent, adding more routes and making stops more frequently.

Conkling has relied on these buses herself and says an extra $2.5 million will better serve dependent riders like Army veteran John Williams.

"They don't connect properly. They don't connect on time," Williams said. "As a bus rider I want to get to my destination on time." 

And while Williams and Conkling are hopeful a commission "super majority" will be on their side.

Drivers filling up at a Rockledge 7-Eleven Monday, seemed split on the tax while talking with News 6.

"I think we've raised taxes enough right now," said Gail Holder in opposition to the tax.

"The way gas fluctuates anyway, you almost wouldn't know the difference," said Chris Wagner in support.

If it passes Tuesday, county commissioners say the new tax collection will begin in January 2018.

Supporters say it would only cost drivers an extra dollar a year.

Tuesday commission meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the county government center in Viera.

 


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