Pedro J. GarcÌa vows independence and quest for 'right' value as he begins pioneering role as county's first elected appraiser
After more than 30 years as a private appraiser, Havana-born Pedro J. García took up his post last week as Miami-Dade County's first elected property appraiser. As an elected official, he'll operate independently from commissioners and the administration, freeing him from pressure to keep county coffers in mind as he heads into the community to set what he calls the "right" values for the county's 875,000 properties.
Establishing appropriate values should set off a chain reaction that will help jumpstart the economy and as an added benefit keep tax collections flowing to the county, Mr. García says, theorizing that real estate activity will pick back up, followed by construction.
Eventually, new residents in today's empty homes and now half-built condos will mean new tax revenue, and then "we don't have to stop or reduce any services," he says.
The change won't be immediate — Mr. García predicts a market turnaround in 2010. But he hopes residents will see lower tax bills beginning this year. He was interviewed in his downtown Miami office by Miami Today staff writer Risa Polansky.
This is an excerpt from the weekly profile article published in Miami Today. To read the entire article in full, order this issue or subscribe to the print edition of Miami Today.