FYI Miami: December 12, 2013
SPLIT IT UP: A measure that could see county commissioners vote separately on each item that contributes to property tax rates is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Finance Committee on Tuesday approved Bruno Barreiro’s bid for an itemized description of each millage rate. The goal is to have the mayor present six rates, instead of three, to appear on residents’ tax bills, allowing commissioners to vote on individual items instead of groupings. For “Truth in Millage” notices, commissioners would still consider taxes for the countywide general fund and unincorporated municipal area. But instead of a third category covering multiple taxing districts, they’d have separate lines for the library system, Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue Service, countywide bonded debt service and Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue Service district bonded debt service. The Finance Committee adopted the ordinance and forwarded it to the full commission with a favorable recommendation.
HOTELS IN TOP FIVE: Miami area hotels ranked fourth in the nation in revenue per available room and average daily room rate and fifth in average daily occupancy, according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. The average revenue per available room of $135.39 was up 9.7% from the same period in 2012 but still far below the leading rate of $213.86 in New York City. Miami’s daily room rate of $174.05 was up 7.9% from the 2012 period but far behind New York’s leading $252.28. Average daily occupancy here of 77.8% was up 1.7% from the prior year but trailed New York’s 84.8%. Oahu Island, Hawaii, was second in all categories and San Francisco third.
TINY GAS DIP: Gas prices for Miami area motorists fell 1 cent per gallon in the past week to $3.47 on average, but that’s still above the Florida average of $3.428 per gallon and far above the US average of $3.24 per gallon. AAA says the higher price of a barrel of crude oil, up from $94 last week to $97.05 this week, followed an unemployment rate decline and improved consumer sentiment. A year ago Miamians were paying 6.5 cents more a gallon, says GasBuddy rating service, and last month they were paying 19.7 cents a gallon less.
TOURISM JOB GROWTH: The number of jobs in the tourism sector has risen 3.5% this year, according to information from the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. About 110,500 people held jobs in accommodations and food service as of October, compared to 106,800 one year earlier. This marks the 46th consecutive month of increased employment in the sector, the bureau said.