Gas Relief

Motorists are gearing up for Florida's first-ever gas tax holiday. It gives everybody eight cents off per gallon of gas during the month of August. Small businesses may see the biggest.

Jim Marshall runs an office supply and furniture business that makes daily deliveries in two cities. All those delivery trucks burn a lot of gas. Marshall says it will be a nice break for his bottom line when Florida knocks eight cents off in state gas taxes per gallon during the month of August.

“I would anticipate on a monthly basis we’ll probably save $1,500 this month between here and Gainesville,” he says.

Although the average motorist will save about 12 bucks next month, the savings quickly add up for businesses that do a lot of deliveries, but Florida’s small gas retailers are not so happy.

Petroleum Association spokesman Jim Smith says retailers will have to pay the tax on any deliveries they take right up to July 31 even if they don’t sell it for a few days.

“They’re going to be expected to reduce that inventory by eight cents a gallon. In essence, sell it for eight cents less than they paid for it,” says Jim.

Still, Department of Revenue spokesman David Bruns says the state doesn’t expect any problems with compliance.

“Under Florida law, it is a felony, a third-degree felony, not to pass the benefit of the gas tax holiday on to consumers, so the state of Florida will take that very seriously,” he says.

The state is sending out these stickers to all 11,000 of Florida’s gas stations. They’ll go right on the pumps to make sure you know you’re saving eight cents a gallon. The month-long gas tax break will cost the state nearly $60 million, but legislators were quick to back it in an election year that has seen record-high gas prices.

The Florida attorney general’s office is in charge of enforcing the gasoline tax holiday. If you believe a station is not passing on the price break, you can contact the attorney general’s office toll-free at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM.