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Gas Tax Rollback

Gas prices hit an all time high in every major Florida market over the weekend, but lawmakers have a plan that could save you a dime a gallon, if only for a few months this summer.

Gas prices hitting all time highs has gotten the attention of state lawmakers.

"I propose that we lower the state gas tax ten cents for the summer months," says Bob Henriquez, (D) Tampa.

Standing next to a humorous sign offering gas for an arm, a leg or your first born, a group of state lawmakers say the price of gas is no laughing matter.

"If we don't have reduction at the gas tanks we are going to lose a lot of the travel that people do throughout their summer vacations," says Eleanor Sobel, (D) Miami.

The plan would cost up to $90 million a month in lost tax revenue.

Motorist Diane Pepper likes the idea as long as other taxes don't go up. Others say any help is welcome. The Republican leadership of the state Legislature floated the same idea of reducing the tax rate three years ago, but it went nowhere over fears that the lower tax rate wouldn't get passed on to motorist.

This time, the attorney general is working on language to assure a pass through and the chairman of the House Finance and Tax Committee likes the tax break.

"What particularly interested me about it is the timing. The fact that we might be able to use this in some advertising to bring more people to Florida perhaps," says Rep. Randy Johnson, (R) Orange County.

As a sign that high prices might put a crimp in the summer tourist driving season, Francis Hyatt says she'll take a train instead of driving this summer.

Over two months the average motorist would save about the cost of a tank of gas. Florida currently has the third highest gas tax in the nation.


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