When homelessness was first assessed in 1992, it was deemed to be too large for the private sector to fund alone, and an “ongoing” source of public funding was needed. The Florida Legislature, supported by Governor Chiles and the Miami-Dade County Commission, made it possible for there to be a 1% sales tax on food and beverages sold in restaurants with over $400,000 in sales and a liquor license. This means that a $100 meal in one of the larger restaurants will provide $1 to implement the Miami-Dade County Community Homeless Plan. There was no significant opposition to this tax, and it provides a portion of the operating costs of the Homeless Assistance Centers and other facilities in the continuum of care. The tax currently generates approximately $18 million per year.
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