The change in your pocket can create local change and we can tackle a growing crisis with no cost to county taxpayers.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce strongly supports two significant ballot measures aiming to push Broward County forward. It’s time to vote yes on a penny surtax, in order to provide a funding source to take on our transportation issues for the next thirty years and beyond. It’s also time to vote yes on giving a growing number of residents some much-needed help. We can create and sustain affordable housing for Broward County renters and homeowners by approving an Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The fund would come with no tax increase and no cost to voters.
Voting yes on a Penny for Transportation will help relieve traffic congestion and improve transit services by adding almost 300 buses to Broward County’s fleet. Improvements to school zone safety, bike lanes, sidewalks, street lighting, intersections, signal synchronization, fiber optics, infrastructure, road enhancements and climate resiliency improvements are critical for our future. Broward County is made up of dozens of cities, but we are all one community. Saying yes to the penny surtax can create connectivity, expanding the availability of multiple forms of transportation.
A nine-member oversight committee is included in the plan to assure voters that their money is not being wasted. Representatives from several organizations, including chambers of commerce, will play a role in appointing this critical advisory board looking out for all county voters.
The second item the Chamber supports is The Broward County Affordable Housing Trust Fund Referendum, which will create a “lock box” for the Broward County Commission, municipalities, banks, businesses, nonprofits and grant makers to invest in, without the fear of funds being used for another purpose once committed.
Right now, over 58% of Broward County residents are considered cost burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their monthly income on housing. That means a Broward resident would need a minimum hourly wage of $24.10 to reasonably afford a two-bedroom rental unit. The current market rates are significantly impacting working families and households, including their ability to access food and healthcare, and leading to a lack of economic security and wellbeing.
The inability for people to find affordable housing affects all of us. Teachers, nurses, technicians, construction workers, retail salespersons and others are being economically and socially harmed. While business owners call for a talented workforce, potential employees are clamoring for a community where they can live, work and play at a manageable cost.
For more information on these ballot items visit: http://www.broward.org/pennyfortransportation/Pages/default.aspx