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Posted on April 17, 2016
Tallahassee Reports has learned that local elected leaders have been supporting a move to tax vehicle miles traveled by individuals for a number of years.
This is despite the recent comments by some local elected officials that implied taxing individuals on miles traveled in their cars was not part of a proposed study slated to look at creating a mobility fee.
The comments were made after TR published a story about the proposed mobility fee study. The City and County voted to move forward with the study.
The support for the mileage fee is through an important, but low profile group called the Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council (MPOAC).
MPOAC is a statewide transportation planning and policy organization created by the Florida Legislature pursuant to Section 339.175(11), Florida Statutes. The organization is made up of a Governing Board (27 members) consisting of local elected officials from each of the MPOs.
One of the purposes of the MPOAC is to develop legislative priorities that are supported by the MPO’s.
In fact, on October 16, 2003, the MPOAC Governing Board approved a motion to annually request that each MPO in the state contribute $500 or more of non-federal local funds to the MPOAC to support and fund legislative advocacy.
The MPO for Tallahassee region is called the Capital Region Transportation Plannning Agency (CRTPA). Current members from Leon County include County Commissioners Dozier, Dailey, Proctor, Sauls, Desloge, Maddox and Lindley and City Commissioners Maddox, Richardson and Miller.
City Commissioner Nancy Miller, who called TR’s report “misinformation”, served as Chairman of the MPO during 2013.
Beginning in 2013, MPOAC began pushing as its number one priority the development of a “plan to move Florida toward a Mileage Based User Fee in lieu of the traditional fuel tax.”
The issue has remained the number one priority for the last four legislative sessions. During this time the language has changed, but the intent has remained the same.
The latest version asks the legislature to require the “Florida Department of Transportation to develop a plan and conduct one or more pilot tests to move Florida toward a Mileage Based User Fee, which protects individual privacy, in lieu of the traditional fuel tax.”
In fact, Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox, as the representative from the Tallahassee MPO, voted for the 2016 legislative priorities which included the above language. You can view minutes of the meeting here.
TR researched local media outlets and could find no articles written about our region’s support for a fee or tax on vehicle miles traveled by individuals.
TR will seek to determine which CRTPA members supported or voiced concerns about the move to a mileage based user fee.