Barring a miracle, it looks like the politicians are going to win and the taxpayers are going to lose.
Mayor Lenny Curry’s proposal to double the local gas tax on top of the rising prices seems to have clear sailing in the City Council.
The vote to bring it to a floor vote was 13-6.
With the new gas tax revenue, Curry can float his Billion-Dollar Plan for roads, drainage, sewer lines, parks and mass transit.
He has used three talking points to get the proposal to the final stage. They range from the preposterous to the doubtful, but no one seems to mind.
First, Curry says he is fulfilling unfulfilled promises of consolidation, which is nonsense. Curry wasn’t even born when the city and county governments were merged and apparently doesn’t know the history.
Then, he says, the city is in dire need of more infrastructure, after billions has been spent on infrastructure in the past few decades.
Finally, he says the city must extend even more sewer lines and replace thousands of septic tanks that constitute a public health hazard.
Where are the leaking tanks? Why were they allowed to be built? Why haven’t the owners been cited?
A compliant media in Jacksonville certainly hasn’t asked, and neither have the Democrats on the council, who always are eager to spend more money.
The plan fits right in with the spending spree in Washington, which is adding trillions of dollars to the national debt, mostly to redistribute money.
Curry’s plan also is partly a redistribution of wealth, with taxpayers paying to enhance the property values of others.
The council members who voted against raising the tax were Al Ferraro, Aaron Bowman, LeAnna Cumber, Danny Becton, Rory Diamond and Kevin Carrico.
“This is not driven by requirements. It is not driven by needs,” Bowman said.
Ferraro said, “We could do this without increasing taxes.”
Cumber said she was voting no because a quarter-billion dollars will go into the Skyway Express.
Becton said he has proposed a bill that would provide all of the infrastructure without raising taxes. None of the money in the current plan would be spent in Becton’s southeast district.
It could get interesting. It will take 11 votes to pass the bill. If three members switched on the final vote, the measure would not pass.
Michael Boylan and Randy DeFoor expressed reservations and complained about a lack of information, saying they had not made a final decision. Council Member Joyce Morgan also said she might vote against the proposal in the end.
Although the council has a regular meeting Tuesday, Council President Tommy Hazouri has decided to hold the tax increase until a special council meeting he has called for Wednesday at 10 a.m.
NOTE: If you want higher gas taxes, no need to do anything. If you do not want higher gas taxes, you can contact your city council member at: City Council Members