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Drivers want local, state officials to lower gas prices

SWFL counties have the power to lower gas taxes
Posted at 7:07 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 20:44:40-05

NAPLES, Fla. — Gas prices continue to go up, and people want to know what our local leaders can do about it.

In East Naples, the RaceTrac gas station at the corner of Collier Blvd. and Rattlesnake Hammock stayed busy Thursday despite the price jumping up to $4.39 a gallon.

But the people filling up are asking elected officials to do something.

“Most things I’m doing I’m trying to stick pretty close to home so I’m not having to drive too far,” said Naples resident Caitlin Curtis.

However, Curtis can’t stay close to home when she’s driving for work, which requires her to drive from Marco Island to Naples each day.

“I used to fill up my tank maybe 40 dollars,” Curtis said. “It’s 70 now.”

Help could be on the way. State legislators are discussing proposals that could temporarily eliminate Florida’s 27-cents-per gallon gas tax.

Collier County has its own gas tax that commissioners can regulate.

Commissioner Andy Solis said they have not discussed adjusting the local gas tax yet, but he’s not opposed to lowering the state tax.

“Anything help our work force, help people get through this period of time where property values and rents are going up really fast,” Solis said. “Now gasoline’s going up. It’s really going to be difficult for our workforce to make ends meet.”

Lee County has a gas tax of 11 cents per gallon. Charlotte County’s gas tax is 13 center per gallon. The money raised from the taxes goes toward transportation projects.

Collier County officials did not respond Monday when FOX4 asked the price of its gas tax.

The gas tax holiday proposal being discussed by the legislature wouldn’t kick in until October.

“That will be wonderful, but that’s a while away,” Curtis said. “I’ll be spending plenty of money in the meantime.”

The price hike at the pump has caused some to make adjustments.

“I went from using super(-premium gas), now I’ve got to come down grade just so I can afford it,” said Jonathan Leyden.

Leyden owns a mobile car detailing company. He said he needs to use higher grade gasoline for his business, so there isn’t much he can do to save money at the pump.

“The businesses are going to keep suffering with high gas prices,” Leyden said.