Dept. of Transportation secretary to propose toll authorities


Ananth Prasad, secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation, delivers the keynote speech Wednesday during the Emerald Coast Transportation Symposium at the Emerald Coast Conference Center.

MARK KULAW | Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 12:31 PM.

OKALOOSA ISLAND — Florida must begin looking for alternatives to gas tax revenue to pay for future road work, state Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad said Wednesday.

That was one of Prasad’s main messages during his keynote speech at the first Emerald Coast Transportation Symposium at the Emerald Coast Convention Center.

The one-day event drew almost 200 people from Escambia to Gulf counties.

“The gas tax as a funding source is not sustainable,” Prasad said.

With the advances in fuel-efficient vehicles, that revenue is dwindling fast, he said. Prasad predicted the state is about 10 years away from a “gas tax cliff.”

Although Floridians are driving the same amount, they are using less gas. That means less money goes into the state’s Transportation Trust Fund.

Prasad said one solution is for the state to offer incentives to counties that join forces to fund transportation projects.

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