BY MIKE RYAN, MAYOR OF SUNRISE
Do you know how sales tax dollars generated in your city or town are divided?
Under Florida law, for every dollar of sales tax generated, 91.2 percent goes to the State, with 8.8 percent is then set aside in a Fund for all the municipalities and Broward County to divvy up.
In Broward County last fiscal year, the total sales tax dollars set was $161,000,000.
How was this money allotted?
Maybe where the sales tax was generated?
Or, where the greatest infrastructure investments are made to support retail establishments who generate sales tax dollars?
Or, where the greatest economic incentives or support are offered by cities to provide a strong retail base?
None of the above.
Florida Statute Section 218.62 mandates that the 8.8 percent sales tax dollar Fund is divided amongst municipalities in a county, NOT based upon where the sales tax was generated. Instead it is split using a statutory formula solely based upon population numbers.
As a result, Sales Tax is truly a regional endeavor. The better the all the cities do in a county, the more the individual cities receive.
By state law, the County government first takes a large chunk of the dollars. For 2011-2012, Broward County received $65,000,000 of the $161,000,000 in sales tax revenue set aside.
The remaining dollars are then split amongst the 31 municipalities based upon their respective population without regard to where the dollars were generated. On the high end, Fort Lauderdale received $9,166,000; on the low end Lazy Lake received $1,344.
Sales tax distribution for Broward County and its cities
November, 2011 thru October, 2012
Broward Co. BOCC 64,840,663.72
Coconut Creek 2,935,370.12
Cooper City 1,589,943.31
Coral Springs 6,718,250.48
Dania Beach 1,641,944.12
Deerfield Beach 4,158,738.67
Fort Lauderdale 9,166,037.64
Hallandale Beach 2,058,259.27
Hillsboro Beach 103,907.21
Lauderdale Lakes 1,808,533.52
Lazy Lake 1,330.44
Lighthouse Point 573,679.43
North Lauderdale 2,276,396.97
Oakland Park 2,294,719.03
Pembroke Park 338,117.41
Pembroke Pines 8,542,383.53
Pompano Beach 5,526,490.04
Sea Ranch Lakes 37,196.06
Southwest Ranches 407,041.87
West Park 783,448.00
Wilton Manors 646,098.60
Total Cities 95,972,586.38
Naturally, as you go through the list, there are some apparent anomalies. For instance, Plantation received more sales tax dollars than Sunrise, a place where the Sawgrass Mills Mall represents one of the largest and most productive retail malls in the entire United States. Surely there are others. But the lesson is — when one city generates more sales tax dollars, others municipalities do better, too.
So much of what we do in a county makes us dependent upon each other – from smart economic development and re-development plans to public safety performance, it is clear, even if only because state law forces us, we are bound together as a county and residents.
Regionalization is not just a concept for HazMat teams or E911 Consolidated Communications, it is the nature of our collective economic performance as well.