Miami real estate taxes are going up, by the good graces of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who said last week, “It’s almost impossible that we can achieve an acceptable budget with cuts alone. There is a real possibility of millage and fee increases.” It is as if Miami homeowners were not in enough trouble already, with one of four Miami property owners being 30 days or more behind on their mortgage payments.
Miami residents remember well the boom years, when property values soared, and along with the inflated prices, millions of dollars more in property taxes were deposited into the coffers of Miami-Dade; taxes were not lowered in favor of homeowners, but instead the city found other ways to spend the windfall dollars received. Now that things have changed, and the money has been spent, Mr. Alvarez, a Republican, (the party that speaks of smaller government, less spending, and lower taxes), is going to raise taxes on suffering homeowners.
The reason for the increase is that Miami-Dade needs more money in order to provide a number of services. The only way to get that money, according to the Mayor, is by taxing suffering homeowners. The fact that Miami-Dade homeowners also have budgets, which they are unable to support, doesn’t seem to matter to Mayor Alvarez. Covering the budget matters.
It seems like the Mayor is up for a fight with some commissioners who have already lined up against the tax increase. Commissioner Rebeca Sosa wants Miami-Dade to consolidate departments, cut some government jobs, and to eliminate some services, but is adamantly against a tax hike. Commissioner Javier Souto said that ”We need to adjust and squeeze. Tax increases at this moment are unthinkable.” Ain’t it the truth.