Under proposal, residents would pay for every mile they drive - FOX 35 News Orlando

Under proposal, residents would pay for every mile they drive

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council (MPOAC) said the idea is simple: instead of a gas tax, residents would pay for every mile they drive.

"They're both based on how far you go," said Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan, also Florida MPO Board Chairman.

Some drivers FOX 35 spoke with agreed with the idea.

"No. I'm lucky," said Becky Littrell. "I live close to where I work, so I don't drive a lot."

But most people did not support the concept.

"I feel like that would be a penalty," said Myoshi McDavid . "I'm trying to do what I have to do to pay my bills and pay my taxes and you're going to penalize me for that."

Kaplan said there isn't enough money coming in to cover the transportation projects in metropolitan areas. Kaplan said there's currently a $74 billion shortfall.

"A couple of years ago it was 37 billion," said Kaplan. "Now it's 74 billion, and it's growing."

MPOAC released a two-year study on the issue within the last year.

Still, some motorists disagreed with the idea of someone from the state keeping an eye on how far they drove.

"In some instances that could help," said Chantell Cooper. "In others, it's kind of a privacy issue."

"I don't like anything I do being tracked," said Linda Knox. "Just leads the way to government interference."

Kaplan disagreed. He said technology on the market that could help state leaders focus just on the miles that are driven. Kaplan said several states are already working on pilot programs targeting the issue.

"The proposal is to come up with a system that does not monitor where are, and when you are," said Kaplan. "All they care about is how far you have gone."

Kaplan also told FOX 35 that with more people choosing mass transit or electric cars, the state can't depend on the gas tax to pay for the upkeep of Florida's roads.

"People want more roads, more mass transit, safer roads, maintaining bridges, pedestrian walkways, bike lanes, all that pretty much is funded through gasoline tax," said Kaplan. "It's really hard to maintain a system if it's running through deficit financing."

Kaplan said this project is still in the planning stages. Even if approved, Kaplan said it could take 10-15 years to implement the plan.

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