Florida Rental Surcharge Idea Hits a Snag

Federal transit officials are not in favor of a rental car “surcharge” to help finance the financially struggling Tri-Rail commuter system in Florida, according to the Central Florida Political Pulse blog at orlandosentinel.com.

Behind-the-scenes discussions are taking place on how to pay for the trains’ operating costs.

Tri-Rail, which runs through three counties, has been in favor of a $2-a-day “surcharge” on rental car drivers to help finance the system. Then-Gov. Jeb Bush vetoed the idea in the past.

Now, federal transit officials are rethinking the surcharge, worrying that voters might reject it in the future. The officials want to know that the funding source is “sustainable and risk-free,” according to Jeff Atwater, the senate president.

The final rail bill may contain the surcharge, or something different, such as devoting a portion of the state’s gas tax to rail, Atwater said.

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