Dade Tax Dollars Could Subsidize Terminals For Private Jet Owners

Dade taxpayers could soon be footing the bill for two luxurious terminals used by private jet owners at Opa Locka Airport, under a plan already partially approved by Dade commissioners.

If approved, Dade will provide $5 million in funding to Fontainebleau Aviation, which has a private jet terminal under construction at Opa Locka airport. Fontainebleau is owned by the Soffer family’s Turnberrry Associates.

Separately, commissioners have already approved $5 million in funding for a rival private jet terminal at Opa Locka airport, Orion Jet Center. Orion’s majority owners is Leonard Abess, who once controlled ownership of City National Bank of Miami.

Tunberry and Abess were both among the largest donors to Dade commissioners and mayor Carlos Gimenez last year.

The subsidy for Fontainebleau will be reviewed by a committee later this week. Both the Fontainebleau and the Orion resolutions were sponsored by Barbara Jordan, who also backed the Marlins Stadium deal that could ultimately cost local taxpayers over $3 billion.

 

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marc
6 years ago

Outrageous. While here we are scrounging and scraping for funds to help pay for something everyone in the county can possibly make use of in mass transit.

Obviously
6 years ago

Yeah, this is outrageous, especially when the MH reports someone like Raquel Regalado telling a Miami Beach breakfast group that she doesn’t think Baylink should be a priority. Billion dollar tunnel to the Port and new terminals for private jet owners, now that’s what the tax payers of MD need. Transit system like Baylink so the tax payers can go and enjoy Miami Beach without worrying about their cars getting towed…nah, who cares, keep getting pissed off.

Ben Grimm
6 years ago

Actually, Ms. Regalado said that Bay Link shouldn’t be a priority for county tax dollars. She added that the hotel bed tax should go to funding Bay Link since it’s a tourist amenity. It IS for tourists. Especially when you consider there is NO express transit from western and northeastern parts of the county to connect to Bay Link. Folks from Doral or Aventura are coming by car and there’s little chance they will park downtown and hop on train to SoBe.

Obviously
6 years ago

I know what the MH reported Rquel Regalado said about the hotel bed tax. The hotel bed tax was initiated as a funding source for things not associated with mass transit. The half-penny sales tax that the citizens of MiamiDade approved of by vote is a funding source that was specifically created for funding mass transit and other transit related issues in the county. Last time I checked, Miami Beach IS in the county of MiamiDade. Bay Link is just a tourist amenity? Oh, so is that supposed to mean the thousands of workers and visitors who live across the bridge in mainland Miami are, as far as you and Ms Regalado are concerned, just inconsequential bystanders? These scavenger tow companies who are known to prey on people who just wanted to park their car and have a good time on South Beach are inconsequential? You and Ms Regalado consider the Baylink concept to be just some kind fantasy for tourist. But if you’re of that mindset, then Miami’s Downtown People Mover should be considered as just some tourist anomaly. I mean, the last time I checked, tourism is still MiamiDade’s main industry and no one had a problem with building the people mover in Miami.

The problem is, Baylink should’ve been built at least 14 years ago when it was much cheaper to do it, but politicians dropped the ball. Tunnels to the Port of Miami and Baseball stadiums were built with the taxpayers money instead of metrorail extensions and mass transit to and on Miami Beach. I agree with Ms Regalado in her attempt to block that ugly Skyrise crap, but as far as I’m concerned, her opinions about Baylink is archaic. If Miami want’s to someday achieve world class status, then Baylink is one of the steps to getting there.

Ben Grimm
6 years ago

No one is against Bay Link. But since it’s a self-contained tourist-centric line it could be funded by the hotel bed tax. I don’t think the bed tax is restricted from funding a transit line. It should be known that the Bay Link plan connects only to downtown, runs on Washington and stops at Dade Blvd. So if MB workers use causeway routes north of MacArthur they’re likely not commute via Bay Link.

I also don’t think the tunnel was necessary and stadiums should only be funded by private entities. The Metromover could be paid for by a small tax on downtown property owners as they benefit from that line directly.

Obviously
6 years ago

Mr Grimm, Mass transit funding was put in place over a decade ago when voters approved (which the free metromover ride carrot was also dangled in their face) the half-penny gas sales tax. The politicians should’ve been using the gas tax for what it was mean’t to be used for – Expansion of mass transit – and not freeway expansions and building toll gates. MiamiDade politicians had the authority when the idea of Baylink first surfaced to give it the greenlight to commence construction up and down Washington Ave on Miami Beach. But business owners on Wa Ave whined about losing business while the avenue is torn up to install Baylink and MD politicians capitulated. And immediately an oppourtune time was missed to build Baylink when 9/11 happened, because SouthBeach turned into a virtual ghost town. And with missing an oppourtunity like that, the cities and county are back to square one about Baylink. But these clowns in power have waited until traffic is much much worse for residents and tourist, and the cost to build Baylink, speculative at best but at least twice as much.

Use the gas tax for what it was mean’t for, or even raise it if you to. But these politicians should’nt be allowed to stick they’re mismanaging fingers into the bed tax pool for transportation issues.

Ms Regalado is just pandering.

Gables
6 years ago

You can look up bus ridership rates on the Miami-Dade County Transit website. You’ll see that the “S” bus is one of the most busy routes in the county. People from Doral may not park downtown and take a train to South Beach, but for the thousands of bus riders, the train will be a welcome upgrade on an extremely busy transit corridor. Anyone, including Raquel Regalado, who says only tourists will use the Baylink have not looked at the data. Based on many of Raquel’s comments and interviews, I suspect she is opposed to transit for ideological reasons

marc
6 years ago

Exactly. That bus to the beach is always crammed full like sardines and at the mercy of traffic on the MacArthur and it’s not just tourists.

Ben Grimm
6 years ago

Bay Link, by route and limitations, is focused on tourists. It’s main objective is to get people from downtown Miami to South Beach. This includes tourists arriving from MIA and PortMiami. Unless residents and workers have access to an existing connected transit line or route they will not be using Bay Link. Bay Link should be built but it might have a better chance if it’s funded by the hotel bed tax.

BinBrickell
6 years ago

Baylink is for tourists? Really? From Brickell on public transport it currently takes about 40 minutes on the metromover (it stops every 2 blocks) before transferring to a bus at Omni, where it’s at least another 20 minutes across the bridge in traffic. That’s an hour even without connection waiting time. The only other option is paying $30 for a taxi/uber which would still be about 30 minutes. If an express tram connected the beach to downtown near the Government Center metrorail/Miami Central station it would be a quick one stop ride on the metrorail and then 20 minute express ride over, cutting travel time in half. With all the new residents coming to this area you better believe that bridge traffic is going to get worse and baylink would be utilized by these people. Baylink would also help the residential boom continue north to downtown, putting real estate there near the demand/value of the beach itself. This would also keep South Beach real estate from getting even more outrageous. Cutting travel time between downtown/brickell to south beach would be good for both sides of the bay and people would make the trek a lot more often. The city is currently cut in half and therefore doesn’t feel like much of a city. People from Coconut Grove, Dadeland, South Miami, and several other neighborhoods would probably use metrorail a lot more too if it actually could connect to the beach. Sorry but if you choose to live in Doral or or some other outer suburb you will have to drive. That’s life.

MrDreTheOne
6 years ago

Talking about having your priorities upside down… this is ridiculous! So what can we do to make the rich folks more comfortable…let’s subsidize two separate private jet airports, of course! Whilst Miami-Dade residents have to deal with inadequate roads, unbearable traffic, and an embarrassing lack of mass transit year after year….public servants?

Sarcasm
6 years ago

Thank God that money was not wasted on a downtown Tri-Rail station! These commissioners are working to do what’s best for the county and all we do is complain about things like traffic congestion. I am super happy to hear this news.

Martim
6 years ago

lol

Anonymous
6 years ago

Can we please vote these backwards local politicians out of office- its up to us- vote and get it done !!!

Danny
6 years ago

These are the same commissioners which approved the American Dream Mall project. Yesterday they were clean cut humanitarians looking out for Miami’s best interest and today they are corrupt.

Danny
6 years ago

Bro, where else do you want me to land my G650? My boy Leo got his which is named Orion, now I want mine.