Written by Miami Today on July 9, 2009
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VALUATION FLUCTUATION: Taxable property value in Miami-Dade County between last and this year fell 3.26% more than estimated in June, newly released tax roll analysis shows. Numbers show now a 9.5% decline in taxable value since 2008, compared to the 9.2% drop estimated in the preliminary roll released last month. This includes new construction. Without it, the countywide drop could have hit 12.9%. One of the biggest adjustments between last and this month’s numbers came in Homestead, where June’s estimated 18.2% drop plummeted to a 24.7% decline. Some areas saw improvement over June’s preliminary numbers. An estimated 6.6% decline in the City of Miami turned out to be a 6.4% drop. The only area that showed a value increase in last month’s estimates showed an even bigger jump in the new July numbers. A predicted 7.4% increase in taxable value in downtown and Brickell jumped to 9.5%.
BANK OF MIAMI-DADE?: Miami-Dade should consider forming its own credit union and becoming its own depository, Commissioner Bruno Barreiro says. He pitched the idea last week in discussing a provision in financing agreements for a Marlins baseball park that makes Wachovia the county’s primary bank for the life of a letter of credit it’s providing. "I think, with the uncertain banking situation that’s going on in this country and worldwide, I think we should look at the availability and the possibility of — we’re such a big institution and we have so much funds deposited and we never overdraw, we have a balanced budget by law — that we should consider maybe having our own credit union and being our own depository," he said. "I think there might be revenues that we would make under that circumstance." Local municipalities could also benefit, he added. "We might make more revenue. We also might be a more solid depository for our municipalities… I think we’ve got to look outside the box." Commission Chair Dennis Moss called it an "interesting concept" and recommended Mr. Barreiro draft legislation to explore it.
DOUBLING UP: Miami commissioners are to discuss today (7/9) whether city employees could be cross-trained to fill multiple positions, thereby cutting personnel costs. Among changes to be pondered is combining the duties of building inspectors and code enforcement inspectors for efficiency’s sake, according to the meeting agenda.
HOLDING STEADY: Cruise passenger traffic remains ahead of last year’s pace at the Port of Miami. Traffic for January through May was 1,923,388 passengers, up 0.6% from the same period last year.