The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners passed an emergency ordinance to extend the County fuel tax by 30 years at a special meeting held today at Marathon Government Center. The six-cent fuel tax was last renewed in 1989, but modified in 2009, at which time County staff thought the expiration date extended beyond 2019.
On Friday, the Florida Department of Revenue advised the expiration date was not extended in 2009. Since the deadline for action was today, Sept. 30, in an abundance of caution, County staff recommended that the commissioners convene a special meeting extending the expiration date to avoid the loss of revenue that had already been included in the County and municipality budgets for Fiscal Year 2020, that starts on October 1, 2019.
The fuel tax, which is distributed among the County and the five municipalities, raises about $4.1 million a year. The tax is exclusively for roadway, bridge, traffic, and transportation projects and improvements. Without this tax, in order to maintain the level of services the County provides, roadway funding would most likely be added to property taxes.
“The expiration of the tax would have created a hardship for the municipalities and the County,” said Kevin Wilson, Assistant County Administrator. “We apologize for the late discovery of this issue and will review all of the other expiration dates for special taxes and grants to avoid this in the future.”
To view the meeting, www.monroecounty-fl.gov/mctv under Video on Demand.