SunRail future may depend on rental car tax

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Car Rental News - 27/04/2009


The future of central Florida’s commuter rail may depend on a proposed $2 levy on car rentals.

With the end of the year’s legislative session in Florida coming to a close at the end of this month, the lengthy battle over the expensive and complicated plan for a 61.5 mile commuter rail system for central Florida may be decided by a single-vote margin this Wednesday when the Senate Transportation and Economic Development Committee meets.

The state’s transportation department has $150 million to pay CSX Transportation for the line and another $400 million for track improvements between Jacksonville and Lakeland so that increased traffic can be handled.

More than $20 million is also being paid by the state for the relocation of the CSX hub from Orlando to Winter Haven.

CSX is insisting that the state assume liability for any damages to commuter trains and passengers resulting from accidents – regardless of who is at fault.

The transportation company is agreeing to pay the sate for freight use of the commuter lines during off-peak times. It is only the “no fault” agreement that needs to be approved by lawmakers for the deal to be finalized.

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