As of New Year's Day, gasoline is four cents per gallon more expensive in Escambia County, thanks to a new tax aimed at funding public transit.
Passed 4-1 by the Escambia County Commission in late 2012, the levy is expected to raise about $4 million annually for Escambia County Area Transit, or E-CAT. That proceeds will go into a dedicated account, and replace money from the general fund.
The levy applies to gasoline only; diesel fuel is exempt.
In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the outlook for 2014. Harper expects this year to be a little bit better than 2013. “The main reason for that is that we’ll see less of a drag coming from the federal sector. The slow down in federal spending last year probably subtracted 1.5 percentage points from GDP (Growth Domestic Product) growth. We could have been up almost 4 percent," Harper says.
According to Harper, the shrinkage in government spending should be less in 2014, with some of the hardest hits already with Sequestration.
A study from Ohio State University that was published in the Journal of Neuroscience in August 2013 has shown that the blue-white light of electronic devices can have a negative impact on mood. Red-orange wavelength lighting may reduce those effects. The abstract is available here: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/33/32/13081.abstract
In August 2013, Pensacola Beach had twenty sea turtle nests on its beach this season, its highest recorded number. It hosted 19 nests twice, in 1997 and in 2012. The Park has 40 turtle nests this year, which Nicholas says is a little above-average. Turtles continue to nest, so these numbers may increase. Mark Nicholas is District Biologist at Gulf Islands National Seashore.