Broward County residents will have the opportunity to vote on November 8 whether or not they want to pay an extra penny in sales tax for improvements to the county transportation infrastructure and to city infrastructure improvements. If approved, it is estimated that this new tax would raise $12.6 million during the first year and $495.5 million over 30 years. A presentation on this tax was made during a recent commission meeting.

There will be two surtax referendums. If they are approved, half the money raised will go to Broward County to fund county-wide transportation improvements to reduce congestion, develop rail, enhance bus transit, improve roads and traffic signalization and develop safe sidewalks and bike lanes and paths. The other half will go to Broward County’s cities and unincorporated areas. The money will fund infrastructure improvements such as public buildings and facilities, roads, sidewalks, public safety equipment and parks. The tax would go into effect in January 2017.

More than thirty percent of the sales tax revenue is projected to be paid by tourists. This means visitors to Broward County will contribute toward infrastructure and transportation improvements rather than only local property owners. In the past ten years, the Florida Legislature has passed 24 bills that have substantially ad valorem revenues. This surtax will create a more reliable revenue stream.