With the new year comes a new increase to Florida’s gas tax. But it’s unlikely consumers will even notice the rate hike: it amounts to one tenth of one cent.
Florida’s gas tax is one of the highest in the country, totaling 36.59 cents per gallon. An additional 18.4 cents goes to the federal government, before cycling back down to state projects. The revenue helps restore and maintain the state’s aging infrastructure. But like the country’s roads and bridges, the tax base is crumbling. The federal gas tax hasn’t been raised since 1993, and it doesn’t keep up with inflation or the rise of fuel-efficient vehicles. According to the Florida Transportation Commission, federal dollars used to fund 50 percent of the state’s infrastructure projects. Now that number has dropped to 25 percent. The changing landscape of alternative fuels and ride-sharing practices is spurring some policymakers to consider raising and reforming the gas tax, or even drafting an entirely new way to fund the country’s infrastructure.