Dade City, Florida -- A major vote is set to take place Tuesday that will affect every driver in Pasco County as commissioners weigh a proposed gas tax hike.
The move would bring in millions for work on the county's increasingly crumbling and overgrown road network, but would also cost the county's drivers more.
Getting a pothole fixed in Pasco County right now takes on average more than a month, according to the county's staff, and a third of the county's roads are rated "fair" or "poor".
So members of the County Commission will decide Tuesday whether the solution to those pavement problems is a 5-cent-per-gallon rise in the gas tax.
Pasco right now is tied for the lowest local gas tax in Tampa Bay at 7 cents, the same as Hillsborough and Pinellas.
If it's increased to the state maximum of 12 cents, Pasco will tie Polk, Manatee, and Sarasota for the area's highest.
Pasco County has been shrinking its road maintenance budget as the recession set in.
County managers say their road maintenance staff is less than half of what it was in 2008. But in that time, the county has added 240 more miles of roads.
Supporters say the new funding would be big for economic development in Pasco, and since it's paid per-gallon, it charges more for people who use roads more.
Opponents of the proposalsay an increase will hit some folks hard.
Seniors and low-income families may feel it more. So would people who commute a long way or work doing deliveries, repairs, or landscaping.
Commissioners will hear from the public before they vote at a hearing set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Dade City.