Broward County voters to decide on half-cent sales tax in November

Proposed sales tax would finance transportation projects

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Broward County voters will be asked to decide on a half-cent sales tax increase in November.

County commissioners voted 5-3 Wednesday in favor of placing two interlocked sales-tax questions on the Nov. 8 ballot.

One proposal asks for a half-cent increase to finance countywide transportation projects. The other asks for a half-cent surtax to fund municipal infrastructure projects at the request of Broward County's municipalities.

Both proposals ask voters to increase the sales tax for 30 years and include the creation of an independent oversight board to monitor the spending.

Should voters approve only one of the requests, both will fail.

Broward County spokeswoman Kimberly Maroe said the half-cent sales tax would finance various transportation projects, including a light-rail system in downtown Fort Lauderdale with future connects to Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the Broward County Convention Center. She said the money would also pay for projects designed to ease traffic congestion and improve intersections.

Maroe said the proposal also had to be approved by more than half of the municipalities representing the majority of Broward County residents. She said Pembroke Pines, Hallandale Beach and Weston were among the cities that approved the proposal.  

The revenue from the half-cent city infrastructure tax would be shared by all of the county's 31 municipalities based on population.

Maroe said county Commissioners Chip LaMarca, Dale Holness and Tim Ryan voted no on the proposal, while Mayor Marty Kiar, Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief, Lois Wexler, Beam Furr and Mark Bogen voted yes.

Broward County and its municipalities don't currently levy a sales tax. The state sales tax is 6 percent.

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