Written by Miami Today on February 14, 2013
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TEXT 911: The Miami-Dade mayor’s office is looking into the use of texting to contact 911 in emergencies. Commissioners voted 11-0 last week to request a study report in 60 days. In a committee meeting last month, Commissioner Barbara Jordan, the measure’s sponsor, had said that a number of local governments were looking at text messages to 911 and added that persons in danger who could not speak on the telephone could be saved by using text messages.
TOURIST TAX INCOME JUMPS: Tourist tax collections throughout Miami-Dade County were up markedly last year from 2011 receipts. The 2% tourist development tax collections rose 8.7% to $20.3 million, the 3% convention development tax collections rose 8.5% to $60.4 million and the 2% hotel food and beverage tax rose 5.6% to $6.2 million, according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. City of Miami Beach 3% resort tax collections rose 9.5% to $30.5 million, and Miami Beach’s 2% food and beverage tax collections rose 5.8% to $24.8 million, the bureau said.
HOUSING PRICES SOAR: Mean sale prices for single-family home re-sales in Miami-Dade County in the fourth quarter of last year rose 25.9% from the same quarter of 2011 to $391,446 while resale condo prices rose 25% to $302,975, the Miami Association of Realtors and the Southeast Florida Multiple Listing Service said Tuesday. Median sale prices were considerably lower, with single-family homes up 13.7% to $199,000 and condos up 27% to $155,000.
POLICING CARS: A resolution before a Miami-Dade County committee this week would prevent future county police personnel from taking home county police cars. Sponsor Sally Heyman notes in her resolution that key reasons for allowing take-home police cars are to add security in county neighborhoods and have cars around the county ready to act quickly. Taking home cars to other counties, the resolution says, "does not satisfy the policy justification for allowing take-home vehicles." If the measure passes, it will go to the full county commission for final action.
BIMINI BOUND: The Baleària Bahamas Express, owned by Spanish ferry operator Baleària and the Capo Group, has launched a 357-passenger ferry service linking Miami and Bimini with roundtrips three days a week. The Maverick offers crossings in less than 2½ hours between Miami and Bimini on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, leaving Port Miami at 9 a.m. and Bimini at 5 p.m. Operators say they expect to increase service in the summer. Port Miami Director Bill Johnson said this is the port’s first ferry between Miami and Bimini.