Local Option Gas Tax Proposal

Target Audience: The target audience for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority's (JTA) partnership to promote the Local Option Gas Tax extension for infrastructure funding was the Jacksonville City Council and the general public that purchases gasoline in Jacksonville's Duval County.

Strategy Objective:The strategy of the partnership was for the JTA, the leading transportation provider in the region which is also responsible for road, bridge and other infrastructure improvements, and the City to be a unified force advocating for the tax increase. The JTA CEO, Board of Directors and the Authority's Government Affairs team joined the Mayor to conduct countless meetings with City Council members, the community, and business and civic leaders to share information, address concerns, and underscore the benefits of the tax. The JTA was instrumental in highlighting projects earmarked for the tax proceeds, such as a 30- mile pedestrian walking and biking path, and the advancement of the JTA Autonomous Vehicle program, along with its track record of delivering major capital projects on schedule.

Situation Challenge: To help the City of Jacksonville establish a dedicated funding source to complete outstanding and future transportation infrastructure projects, the CEO of the JTA reached out to the Mayor of Jacksonville to help promote the Mayor's "Jobs for Jax" program and advocate for an additional six-cent local option gas tax in Duval County. The tax will finance nearly $1 billion in transportation improvement projects and provide jobs for hundreds of local workers to help the Jacksonville economy. The JTA will receive half of the proceeds to build roads, bridges and corridors.

Results Impact: After a tremendous effort from Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, and the JTA leadership, the Jacksonville City Council approved both a 10-year extension of the current six-cent local option gas tax, and an additional six cents for a 30-year period, to fund nearly $1 billion in public infrastructure investments. The JTA will receive approximately half of this funding, which will be used in part to complete Phase II of the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2c) autonomous vehicle, purchase a second St. Johns River Ferry, make all bus stops 100% ADA accessible, plan a commuter rail system, advance new Complete Streets Projects, and begin construction on the City's Emerald Trail.

Why Submit: Jacksonville's Local Option Gas Tax partnership was submitted because it provides an example of how transportation organizations and government can successfully work together to solidify funding to advance transportation projects, improve the quality of life, and infuse the economy. The public trust and confidence the JTA has earned makes it a valuable, strategic partner. Partnerships are critical to the industry's success, particularly at a time when ridership and revenue are impacted by the pandemic. Throughout America, aging infrastructure threatens traffic flow, bridges and highways, streets and corridors. Having a guaranteed source of funding to make these improvements enables the JTA to execute its plans.