Consider the following excerpt from the Herald:
Miami-Dade voters strongly oppose spending tax dollars on a baseball stadium and other projects in a $3 billion public works plan, but would back spending on local schools, a new poll shows.
The survey of 800 Miami-Dade registered voters suggests the public is reluctant to spend local tax dollars for ”luxury items” during an economic slowdown, said Sergio Bendixen, whose Bendixen & Associates conducted the poll.
I’m going to go ahead nip this one in the bud before anyone grabs it and runs with it. The money (Note: vast majority, not all) earmarked for the Miami Megaplan is allotted for the sole use of the intended individual projects.
If Miami does not utilize the $500 million FDOT is providing for the tunnel project, the funds cannot be diverted to education, healthcare, or any other sector. FDOT will simply reallocate the funds to another or various transportation projects in other counties within the state. Our loss.
Now about the stadium. That funding, 90% of the county’s share according to County Manager George Burgess, is coming from the tourist and convention development taxes. Tax money, which once again, can only be used for programs that will stimulate more tourism within the Miami-Dade County area.
CRA Money? Care to take a guess? Yep. This money can only be used for the improvement of the redevelopment districts.
Now, before we start crying foul about the Miami Megaplan or any other infrastructure upgrades in these self imposed difficult economic times, perhaps we should stop and consider where this funding is coming from and what we are permitted to do with it in the first place. I find it rather irresponsible of Bendixen & Associates to perform such a rash survey without considering the complex funding restrictions.
Bendixen noted that the poll didn’t ask voters’ opinions of the projects, just the funding mechanism. ”Voters aren’t saying they don’t like the ideas, they don’t think these projects are good investment for tax money,” he said.
And clearly failed to consider how exactly these funding sources work…
Voters were even more opposed to paying for construction of a new museum park at Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami. The poll found 66 percent of respondents found it a ”bad investment” for the county; while 29 percent considered it a “good investment.”
Guess what folks? We had the chance to vote on this one already. We approved the bond deal that enabled its funding. Besides if we’re in such a dire need to improve our education, why not build these institutions of higher learning? Every great city has large museums to compliment the classroom components of learning…
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