Florida county to decide on penny tax to aid transit

| 10/27/2006

When voters in Broward County, FL, get to the end of their ballots Nov. 7, they will decide whether to authorize a penny increase in the sales tax for transportation improvements.

Question 2 would increase the sales tax from 6 cents to 7 cents on the dollar for the next 30 years, starting in January 2007. The revenue boost would generate an estimated $260 million annually for improved mass transit.

The money would match federal transportation grants for local projects. Preliminary plans are to use the money for the county's bus service and synchronizing traffic signals, The Miami Herald reported. Construction of light rail lines also will be considered.

Proponents have billed the ballot initiative as the only way to avoid total gridlock on roads. Opponents are concerned about how the money would be distributed.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7. Polls are open in Florida from 7 a.m. EST to 7 p.m.

Voters in the county who don't want to wait until then to cast their ballots have two options. Residents can take part in early voting which allows voters to cast ballots at any of 20 locations scattered throughout the county seven days a week through Nov. 5. Anyone unable to participate in early voting can request an absentee ballot until Nov. 3.

Visit browardsoe.org for more election information.