A group of Florida lawmakers are calling for a new funding
source to help pay for transportation work – and they aren’t focused on the
wallets of truck drivers.
The central Florida delegation and others from counties in
the southern part of the state are pursuing a $2-per-day increase on the cost
of rental vehicles. They say it would raise as much as $40 million annually.
The measure won unanimous consent in the Senate
Transportation Committee earlier this month. If approved by lawmakers, counties
throughout the state would be allowed to vote on the higher fee. Revenue would
be used for local transportation projects.
Supporters say gridlocked regions in the state are being
cheated out of transportation funding because many of the people who rent
vehicles aren’t accounted for when highway funds are distributed, The
Associated Press reported.
Sen. Daniel Webster, R-Winter Park, said formulas for
determining how much an area gets for road and bridge work is based on
population – but doesn’t figure in the half million tourists on Orlando’s
roadways on any given day.
Opponents, however, say it’s not just tourists who rent
vehicles. They say local residents and businesses also would be hit with the
Webster told The AP he would consider adding
provisions to his bill that would exempt some rentals from local residents and
The bill – S2632 – has been forwarded to the Senate floor
for consideration. A similar effort is under consideration in the House.