Florida county rejects penny tax to aid transit

| 11/13/2006

Voters in Broward County, FL, soundly defeated a ballot initiative last week that would have increased the sales tax a penny for transportation improvements.

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

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

Proponents billed the ballot initiative as the only way to avoid total gridlock on roads. Opponents said it lacked a well-structured plan for how the money would be distributed.