Written by Miami Today on July 15, 2010
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HOLDING STEADY: Despite an 11.2% decrease in property values, Miami’s Downtown Development Authority is capping its property-tax rate at 0.5 mils, the same rate the authority has always levied. Miami commissioners OK’d the rate last week for publication in upcoming Truth in Millage (TRIM) Notices. The rate can be lowered but not raised come budget time.
BUDGET FORESIGHT: Unlike many city agencies, forced to cut services due to declining revenues, the Downtown Development Authority won’t be making any dramatic cutbacks, Executive Director Alyce Robertson told Miami commissioners at their meeting last week. The authority has been cutting administrative costs, she said, and budgeted for worst-case scenario drops in property values. "We’ve been preparing for this moment," she said. "We saw it coming."
MULLING THE MILLAGE: A decision on the City of Miami’s maximum tax rate has been deferred to next week’s (7/22) commission meeting. When discussed at past meetings, commissioners have expressed reluctance to raise property taxes, although some have spoken in favor of raising garbage fees.
CAMERAS CLICK: Red-light cameras will be installed at high-crash, high-volume intersections in Miami-Dade after a 6-1 vote by county commissioners last week. The negative vote was cast by Rebeca Sosa, who cited concerns that drivers turning right on red might be brought into court facing a $158 fine unless they could prove that their turns were "careful and prudent."
MILLION-DOLLAR CHARGE: The Department of Defense has given City Labs Inc., a green energy company, a $1 million grant for ITS NanoTritium battery project, says Hilda Hall, manager of the Carrie P. Meek Center for Business in Homestead. The battery is meant to supply continuous low power for over 25 years. In 2005, while in discussion with the military, City Labs’ CEO Dr. Peter Cabauy says "he realized the performance and reliability issues associated with conventional battery solutions utilized in defense platforms." Current battery technology can supply power only a few years. The company operates out of the center, known as the Homestead Business Incubator, and is "starting to populate their lab and make some progress on the project," said Docten Serralta, City Labs marketing director. At year’s end, Dr. Cabauy said, City Labs will present the prototype to Lockheed Martin, a global security technology firm based in Maryland. He said he hopes the battery will be used "in circuits, defense systems and eventually in pacemakers."
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