Broward County voters will be voting on a penny sales tax on November 8th. Voters will see two questions on the ballot asking for a half-penny sales tax increase in Broward County. One proposal asks for a half-cent increase to finance countywide transportation projects. The second is a half-cent surtax to fund municipal infrastructure projects throughout Broward’s 31 cities.
If both ballot items pass, sales tax in the county would go from six cents on the dollar to seven. Both proposals ask voters to increase the sales tax for 30 years, which would raise an estimated $310 million in the first year and $12.4 billion over 30 years. Both items must pass in order for the penny sales tax to go into effect. The City’s portion of revenue raised will finance an array of city projects throughout the county, such as new police or fire stations, park improvements and street and sewer improvements.
In Coral Springs, officials created a list of projects that would be funded, including Parks and Public Facilities, Public Safety and Public Works improvements. The County portion of the surtax would finance a variety of transportation projects, including the light rail system called the “Wave” in Downtown Fort Lauderdale with future connections to the airport, seaport and the Broward County Convention Center. The money would also pay for planned projects designed to ease traffic congestion such as increased bus service, synchronized traffic signals and a variety of countywide intersection and safety improvements. A portion of the city infrastructure surtax (40%) would be allocated to address County needs in years 21-30 only. Currently, none of the local governments within Broward County collect additional local sales taxes. In addition, while many counties do levy a countywide sales tax, Broward County currently does not.