Orlando Rep. Linda Stewart proposes $3 daily fee for rental cars

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A new bill filed by state Rep. Linda Stewart Thursday could put a wedge between mass-transit advocates and airport users.

As a plan to raise money for public transportation, the Orlando Democrat is asking lawmakers to consider HB 13, allowing counties to let voters decide on a $3-per-day fee on rental cars.

The fee would apply for the first 30 days of the rental period, and only for rentals carrying fewer than nine passengers.

Stewart, a former Orange County Commissioner, is a well-known backer of SunRail commuter-rail, the system currently under construction that will link Poinciana to downtown Orlando.

In the 2013 legislative session, Stewart filed a similar proposal (HB117). But in the GOP-controlled House, with several members adverse to raising or adding new taxes, the bill died in committee. 

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.