Florida TaxWatch recommends Governor veto nearly $28M in South Florida budget projects

Florida flag, USA with US Dollars
TaxWatch's Budget Turkey Watch report includes a lot of transportation projects.

Florida TaxWatch says Gov. Ron DeSantis should veto close to $28 million in projects across South Florida’s tri-county area contained in the 2021-22 state budget.

The group listed those projects in its annual Budget Turkey Watch report. The Governor has line-item veto power, allowing him to ax funding for individual projects without undoing the entire budget.

As DeSantis gives a final review of this year’s budget, TaxWatch recommends cutting more than $16 million in funding for projects in Miami-Dade County, more than $6 million in Broward County, and just over $5 million in Palm Beach County.

The group recommended cutting several large transportation projects, including the largest South Florida project on the list: $3.65 million for the Blum Ambulatory Greene Cancer Center Road in Miami-Dade County.

Florida TaxWatch also suggested vetoes for three projects valued at $3 million each: historical infrastructure improvement in central Palm Beach County, pedestrian priority zones in Miami-Dade’s Little Havana community and funding for The Underline linear park in Miami-Dade, which runs underneath the Metrorail.

Each year, TaxWatch analysts issue a report highlighting projects they argue should be stricken from the budget. “The Budget Turkey label does not signify judgment of a project’s worthiness,” the group’s report explains.

“Instead, the review focuses on the Florida budget process, and the purpose of the Budget Turkey label is to ensure that all appropriations using public funds receive the deliberation, debate, and accountability they deserve. While a project may be worthwhile, Budget Turkeys tend to serve a limited (not statewide) area, are often not core functions of government, are more appropriately funded with local or private dollars and can circumvent competitive bidding or selection and oversight and accountability.”

Transportation projects make up a bulk of the TaxWatch list, both across the state and in South Florida specifically.

“For years, Florida TaxWatch has recommended that the Legislature stop earmarking these projects to allow the process to decide which projects have the highest return on investment and to ensure they are considered within the state’s coordinated transportation planning process,” the report reads.

The turkey list includes three additional South Florida projects, which secured $1 million in funding: improvements for Blount Road in Broward’s Pompano Beach area, funding for the South Royal Poinciana Boulevard median in Miami Springs and money for Miami-Dade’s Ludlam Trail Corridor.

The organization also recommended eliminating $3.5 million set to be sent to Nova Southeastern University in Broward County for clinic-based outreach. That money was added back to the budget via the sprinkle list process. TaxWatch flagged that and similar projects, as they were “added at the very last minute” despite being shot down earlier in the 2021 Legislative Session.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


4 comments

  • John Eastman

    May 24, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    We need a lower sales tax. If the State has money for useless give aways like this they are collecting too much. Local projects need to be funded with local taxes. Not transfer of wealth schemes.

  • Tom Palmer

    May 24, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    It’s notable that all of TaxWatch’s cuts are in Democratic parts of the state.

    • Artwork

      May 25, 2021 at 5:08 am

      …because Democrats don’t mind taxing us to death then wasting that money on worthless projects. Democrats don’t understand fiscal responsibility.

  • John Eastman

    May 25, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Sales tax in Broward was increased. It passed by a wide margin in a down economy. The same time it failed by a wide margin past 6 attempts. No vote rigging there. The money collected has been totally and 100% diverted into useless non essential boondoggles by the 100% corrupt Broward Government. All I can do is move. And that is what I am doing.

Comments are closed.


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