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Commissioners Approve Special Taxing Zones That Could Generate Billions For Rail

Commissioners Approve Special Taxing Zones That Could Generate Billions For Rail

Miami-Dade commissioners voted yesterday to approve a new scheme that could finance rail expansion in the county.

The proposal had been in the works for a few years, and envisions extra taxes generated by Transit Oriented Development placed in a trust to be used for new rail.

Under the plan, Tax Increment Financing zones would be created around station along the proposed SMART lines. Municipalities could upzone these areas. Additional revenues generated by increased development in these zones would be set aside for transit.

Several other financing schemes for transit are also in the works.

Last week, commissioner Jean Monestine said he was drafting legislation for a referendum on another increase in sales tax to 8%, saying that millennials are “screaming and crying for this.” The group is too young to remember feeling betrayed by the last half penny increase, which produced almost no new rail, he said.

A bill is also working through the Florida legislature that would allocate $60 million annually for alternative transportation in Miami and Tampa. Those funds are currently sent to Sunrail in Orlando, but the obligation expires in 2021.

Rail service on the Northeast Corridor will begin in 2021, according to the legislation approved yesterday. The anticipated start date for other lines (some of which may use BRT or other technology):

  • Northeast Corridor – 2021
  • North Corridor – 2023
  • South Corridor – 2023
  • Kendall Corridor – 2025
  • East/West Corridor – 2027
  • Beach Corridor – 2028

 

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41 Comments on "Commissioners Approve Special Taxing Zones That Could Generate Billions For Rail"

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Anonymous
Anonymous

Can’t we use the toll money to help fund these rails?. We are paying too many tolls throughout Miami and very little progress has been done… 10 years to build the beach corridor is absurd!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Agreed. Instead of induced demand by way of continuing to widen highways, use the $$ to build alternatives to driving.

Anonymous
Anonymous

^ amen

Anonymous
Anonymous

That Money belongs to MDX.

Anonymous
Anonymous

They should help too, put all that toll money in good use.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Why should auto drivers pay for other modes?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Because it directly benefits auto drivers with reduced traffic when others take public transit.

Anonymous
Anonymous

– -Exactly- –

Anonymous
Anonymous
Toll money is used to cover the bonds that were issued to build the highways. But in MDX’s case they do make about a 20% profit on the toll revenue that is collected, this profit should be partially swept into a public transit account thus generating funds for future public transit projects. I think the major issue with expanding transit is not finding the funds to build it as this is relatively simple with cost sharing between the feds, state, and local municipalities. The major problem is finding the recurring funds to maintain a large public transit system as this would probably require an increase in sales taxes or property taxes due to the current budget shortfall in our transit department barring any wasteful spending (i.e. workers not showing up to work) that we currently have. Either way something needs to be done in a more time sensitive manner to address the congestion on Miami’s roadways. MDC should focus first on the lines that would reduce rush hour traffic like the East/West corridor and the North/South corridor as this is where most congestion is accumulated and largest populations are. I highly disagree with pushing the East/West corridor to 2027 as… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous

Preach!

Anonymous
Anonymous

” The proposal had been in the works for a few years ”

Let me guess, since 2002 ? lol. tfoh!

Anonymous
Anonymous

” millennials are “screaming and crying for this.” The group is too young to remember feeling betrayed by the last half penny increase ”

You betrayed us, and now you’re going to betray the next generation ? You know millenials can read and research about the 2002 betrayal. lol. It’s not confidential information.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Raising sales tax to 8% is a non-starter.

marc
marc

Beach Corridor 2028?!! What the…

Anonymous
Anonymous

I saw that. lol. So the easiest and most convenient (due to tourists) is the last one ? I don’t get it.

Anonymous
Anonymous

same with the East/West corridor. Aren’t there already existing rail lines there ? I don’t get it either.

Andrewn2
Andrewn2

The beach corridor is probably the most lucrative route as well.

Anonymous
Anonymous

BRT is a “technology?” I though it was just something Third World countries who can’t afford trains do to grade separate their bus systems on roads shared by mopeds and donkey carts.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I hate that BRT acronym. I wish all buses would just die and be phased out!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Prove they can start and run a rail line by building Coastal Link. Then we can talk about raising taxes.

The track is already laid for this line.

Oscar
Oscar

These timelines are asinine. I understand how complex of a process adding transit connectivity must be but, the fact is, there are other areas doing this at a much faster rate. Why should adding what could be a bus rapid transit line to the Beach take 10 years? Or 7 years to Kendall? It’s absurd.

TIF is a good start but we need FDOT to get serious about funding transit and we need to siphon MDX’s record toll collections, too.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I moved to Miami from Denver nearly 20 years ago – and I remember all the lines they promised back then. Denver since then has a real transit system w/ numerous lines. Here, there has been nothing. Those estimated dates, in a city like this one mean nothing. I remember the beautiful maps of all the lines way back then — it was all a scam. There is a lot of opposition here to mass transit, and an unwillingness to raise taxes to pay for it. I would still support raising taxes/money in all kinds of ways to pay for a transit system here like Denver’s.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Well, on the contrary, we did get something – a billion dollar tunnel that doesn’t serve the population much.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Is there a condition for oversight, so these corrupt people and special interests don’t line their pockets with it?

Yohan Perez
Yohan Perez

You joking right lol. How do you think they get to build their $5 Million mansions all over Miami then?

Anonymous
Anonymous

I’ll be 38 by the time I can visit my mom in West Kendall from DT. LOL!! This is ridculous! Mean while the Chinese can build an entire train station in 9 hours!

https://www.scmp.com/video/china/2130500/1500-chinese-workers-build-train-station-nine-hours

Jesus
Jesus

China already beat us. They’re not going to let progress be on the sidelines. That video was amazing. Shows what we can do here in America.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Soon it will be like NYC where they “redirect” most of the toll revenue -500 MM a year- to pay for everything else but transportation.

Jesus
Jesus
2028? Really? Too long. You know what would be better than raising the sales tax or waiting this long? Sell bonds to investors to build this thing out within five years completely. All of these projects cost about 3 billion dollars. Sell 30 year bonds for 3 billion and you would pay back investors say 3.5 billion over a period of 30 years. That is about 116 or 120 million a year with the interest being paid back. The economy would do even better now that we have a transit system that makes capitalism much better with more options and competition available to allow transportation to be less of an issue for people. Transportation is an impediment for folks to move ahead if they don’t have transit to say take them from Homestead to Miami for jobs. This would allow more movement of labor throughout the county. Additionally, we could see traffic decline as people decide to spend 110 a month with a couple of Ubers to get from place to place whereas owning a car that is already paid off cost maybe 300 with insurance and gas included. I want to see this county do something about this issue… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous

Makes no sense
Beach corridor should be first.
It will be the busiest and most needed.

Yohan Perez
Yohan Perez

2028 to the beach LMAO

Common Sense Posting
Common Sense Posting

Finally! I applaud Commissioner Jean Monestine

Anonymous
Anonymous

instead how about approving a sales tax increase contigent on diverting a certain perctage of toll revenues? sort of a 2 in 1 tax proposal where you try and force the issue with MDX. im opposed to creating taxing districts where the burden of the funding falls on specific areas of the county. everybody should be responsible for funding transit improvements because all stand to benefit one way or another.

Andrewn2
Andrewn2

I live in a house within a 1/2 mile of the northeast corridor. I am completely okay with an increase in taxes because of an increase in valuation of my property going towards rail transit. Long term this will create greater value for my property and I will benefit. To me it is a win-win.

marc
marc

Exactly, proximity to transit is always a selling point.

Anonymous
Anonymous

those are all good points..however, only taxing specific areas may not produce sufficient moneys to fund all needed improvements. a county wide tax hike would undeniably do a whole lot more.

Andrewn2
Andrewn2

The northeast corridor will produce a significant amount of money because of all the high rises on valuable land between downtown and Aventura. Imagine what the property tax is on buildings like 1000 museum. The East-West corridor was extended out a mile from the corridor because it is less dense and the land less valuable in general. Property tax increases elsewhere in the county should be used to fund increases in services as the population continues to grow. And no I don’t work for the county.

Anonymous
Anonymous

It really should be the opposite order, with the Baylink to the Beach coming first. And I say this as someone who lives near the Northern part of the county.

I just can’t wrap my head around what these politicans and planners are thinking.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Commissioner Monestine, I’m a “millennial” and I have NOT forgotten the broken promise of the last half penny tax increase that was implemented to increase public transportation and is instead being used by other dade county cities to pay their PT tabs. Millenials are “screaming and crying” for politicians to start keeping promises. No need for another tax increase, just start using that half penny that you so proudly display (via the “half penny promise” logo) on every metro bus/ rail/ mover for what it was intended for.

Mondocondo
Mondocondo

Sounds nice in theory. Practically it creates more density to relieve the impacts of density. Also, hands in the cookie jar temptation will be hard for pols to resist. Better idea would be county wide tax, since all would benefit from mass transit. Cheers

Anonymous
Anonymous

The 8 % taxes must be a joke, but I do agree with rezoning and developing the areas around the existing metrorail stations, this will facilitate the access for thousands of more people to use it and help to make it profitable or at least break even… however, get ready to hear the strong opposition from the baby boomer suburban small-towners Miamiams along the US-1 corridor. They consider using or even mentioning public transportation and an act of perpetual degradation, plus they will fight until the day they die to keep the segregated Miami spirit alive…sorry I meant the old Miami small-town feeling alive.