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Port Orange Observer Tuesday, May 14, 2019 2 years ago

In symbolic vote, Port Orange City Council rejects fuel tax agreement with Volusia County

For the second year in a row, City Council at odds with with the county.
by: Tanya Russo Staff Writer

Stating that the city doesn't get a fair amount of the funds, Port Orange City Council on May 7 unanimously rejected an extension of an optional fuel tax imposed by Volusia County. Based on state law, however, the majority rules, so if the rest of Volusia's cities sign the agreement, then it goes into effect anyway, and the dissenting city participates by default. That's what happened last year.

Florida state law provides local governments with the authority to impose and distribute a 6-cent and 5-cent local option fuel tax for every gallon of motor fuel sold within the county.

Volusia County and its cities, minus Port Orange, approved an interlocal agreement in 2013 and 2018 that provided a distribution formula.

If the annual tax collection exceeds about $22.2 million, the Volusia County gets about 57% of the monies, with the cities splitting the remaining 43%.

Port Orange gets about 5% of the funds. The formula for distribution depends on property value, population and lane miles. 

Port Orange City Council did not agree with the formula for distribution at the time it was initially negotiated with the county and all other cities.

"The formula used for distribution of the gas tax was devised over 20 years ago and needs updating," Mayor Don Burnette said after the meeting. "Port Orange is a real loser in the way the monies are divided up."

"An example is, Ormond has 60% of our population," he said, "but gets more dollars."

Port Orange staff recommended the one-year extension.

“Before this extension expires,” wrote staff in the resolution, “we aspire to negotiate a more favorable distribution methodology that is more logical for Port Orange and the rest of the county.”





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