Written by Miami Today on September 30, 2010
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SALES RISE: Miami’s taxable sales rose 4.6% in July compared to July 2009, according to the latest figures from the Florida Office of Economic & Demographic Research. Almost all sale categories grew, with business investment the only area to see a year-over-year decline, 2.4%. Tourism and recreation taxable sales continue on a positive trend with an 8.7% rise to $598.8 million year over year. Miami’s index of retail activity also grew 5.1%, which indicates "we’re starting to pick up on the consumer side," said J. Antonio Villamil, the Washington Economics Group’s principal advisor. Consumer nondurables taxable sales, which include apparel and paper good purchases, climbed 7.2% year over year to $986.8 million. Taxable sales for consumer durables, big-ticket purchases such as appliances, rose 5.4%. "We’re seeing a continued upward trend in taxable sales," said Robert Cruz, Miami-Dade County’s chief economist, "and in the last months the pace has accelerated."
IRS PENALTY: In another case of the City of Miami paying now for past mistakes, Finance Director Diana Gomez told commissioners last week that the city had to pay the Internal Revenue Service a $100,000 penalty for not reporting on time. City Manager Carlos Migoya said an employee who was in charge of making payments was late twice and the $100,000 was the second of two fines. He said the employee no longer works for the city. Ms. Gomez said a system is now in place to avoid late payments, including online payments rather than by phone and a second person who checks that payments have gone through.
CONFLICT TAX: Miami-Dade County and five municipalities remain in conflict resolution over a change in the half-penny transit tax revenue distribution. Coral Gables, Hialeah, Miami and Miami Beach strive to maintain their share of the 20% transit tax revenues divided among county municipalities based on population. The fifth city in resolution talks, Miami Gardens, currently receives no funding from the tax because its incorporation came after the 2002 passage of the People’s Transportation Plan, which created the tax. The county planned to add the three newest municipalities, Cutler Bay, Doral and Miami Gardens, to the revenue pool in order to comply with state legislation requiring counties to reevaluate local fund distribution agreements every five years.
PLAY IN CHECK: A final vote on an ordinance regulating coin-operated amusement machines in the City of Miami has been deferred to Oct. 14. Commissioners also extended the moratorium on the machines, which has been in effect while Miami mulls the regulations, to that date.
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