After a gas tax mistake that will save drivers $0.06 per gallon while costing Miami-Dade County about $18 million dollars, one county official’s job has been put on hold.
At a recent press conference announcing her proposed budget for the new fiscal year, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava touted a four-month tax holiday as one of the highlights.
“We’re offering relief in the form of a four-month gas tax holiday. From September to January, through the holiday season, residents will pay $0.06 less per gallon at the pump in Miami-Dade,” Cava said at the Monday press event.
Although Cava packaged the four month relief as a holiday, it actually stemmed from a mistake by the county administration.
The county did not renew its gas levy ordinance with the state government in time before the 30-year expiration date. Cava’s administration was told they had to renew the ordinance by July 1 if they wanted to keep collecting taxes after Sept. 1.
Because county commissioners didn’t vote to renew the tax until July 18, the six-cent tax on gas sales will expire at the end of August and will not come back into effect until January — a period that would have garnered the county about $18 million in additional tax revenue.
After she was pressed by reporters for calling the mistake a holiday, Cava has now said she will suspend the county’s budget director, David Clodfelter, according to a recent memo to the county commission from Cava’s office.
“Although there was no bad intent on the part of any of our County staff, it’s important that there be accountability for the lapse in the collection,” Cava wrote in the July 18 memo.
Clodfelter will be suspended without pay for 10 days. Cava wrote that it was ultimately his responsibility to process the gas tax and initiate the process for a timely renewal, so the burden falls on him.
A spokesperson for Cava’s office told WLRN that Clodfelter’s suspension is not effective immediately. Though no specific date has been confirmed, it will come after the county’s budget deliberations in September, they said.