Hillsborough's Local Option Gas Tax Faces Expiration

The Aug. 31 expiration of the Hillsborough County gas tax could mean good news at the pumps, but don’t bank on it. Officials say the shortfall to the county's budget could amount to $22 million.


Greater Brandon area residents hoping to save a little at the pumps could get a reprieve if Hillsborough County’s 6-cent local option gas tax is allowed to expire Aug. 31.

But don't bank on it.

If the county would allow the tax to sunset this summer, it could deliver a financial blow of about $22 million to Hillsborough’s budget, officials say.

The County Commission meets Feb. 14 in a workshop, where it will hear preliminary budget figures for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins on Oct. 1, 2013.

That 6-cent gas tax is used by the county to fund road maintenance projects and transportation operations. Without the revenue stream, the county’s anticipated $3.2 million budget deficit would likely grow to about $25.2 million, said Tom Fesler, the county’s budget director.

While it’s still too early to tell if the commission will pursue an extension for the tax, Fesler says it’s quite possible.

Without the tax, “we’d have to look at some pretty significant reductions in our traffic area.”

Money from the tax is also used by the county’s municipalities to fund traffic projects, Fesler added.

In order for the tax to be extended, the commission would first have to direct staff do so. Once that happens, new agreements with Hillsborough’s cities would have to be created and approved. From there, a new gas-tax ordinance would go before the County Commission and public hearings would be held.

The Feb. 14 workshop takes place at County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. from 1:30 to 3 p.m. A final budget for Fiscal Year 2014 won’t be adopted until Sept. 19.

See Also:

  • County Budget Numbers Are Looking Up


What would you do with 6 cents more in your pocket for each gallon of gas you pump? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.


Jen Frost February 14, 2013 at 02:25 PM
While I do not believe in superfluous taxes or more taxation in recession, this is hardly a huge burden. Let's say the average driver refills one tank of gas per week. 52 weeks x 15 gallons x $0.06 = $46.80 for the year Even with two drivers in the house, most people’s property taxes have dropped significantly more than that over the past few years. Hillsborough County cannot afford to take any hits on road maintenance or traffic operations. We need to continue improving and maintaining the current infrastructure.
BOMX55 February 15, 2013 at 01:55 PM
I think this tax serves a purpose, unfortunately costs are going UP on everything and will continue to do so, we are headed to a severe depression as I see it and this is the cost of doing business in this economy. We don't have Leaders to lead us out of this yet.


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