FYI Miami: June 7, 2018
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
FPL CUSTOMER BREAKS: FPL customers will get slight bill reductions this summer due to the federal tax overhaul. However, regulators put off a decision until August about a one-time refund that customers would receive, in part, because of an “over-recovery” of storm-restoration costs after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The Florida Public Service Commission on Tuesday gave intervening groups until June 28 to file briefs on the $27.7 million refund proposal. The commission approved reductions tied to FPL’s benefits from the federal tax overhaul that lowered corporations’ federal income tax rate from 35% to 21%. Residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours a month will see bills dip 59 cents in July because of FPL’s tax savings. In September, customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours a month will see bills dip 2 cents in a pipeline-related issue.
VENEZUELA’S FOOTHOLD: The government of Venezuela is still paying rent on the fourth floor of 1101 Brickell Ave. It has been paying monthly on the 10-year lease since at least 2012. The 7,940-square-foot space has been vacant since Jan. 16, 2012, after the late President Hugo Chavez withdrew consular personnel from Miami following the expulsion of Miami Consul General Livia Acosta Noguera. An FBI investigation showed that Ms. Noguera was involved in a cyber-attack against the US. At first, the Venezuelan government refused to pay rent for the space but later continued payments after the president of Florida East Coast Realty, Tibor Hollo, threatened to sue. According to a representative of Florida East Coast Realty, the Venezuelan government is currently “not in breach of their lease.”
CONSTRUCTION STARTS INCH UP: The value of April construction starts in South Florida inched up 2% in April from April 2017, a new report shows, but that masks a vast disparity between a 58% gain in residential starts and a 42% drop in the value of all other construction starts. The report by Dodge Data & Analytics also showed that total construction starts in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties for the first four months of the year rose 37%, with residential start values up 60% and nonresidential up 14%.
DETERMINING THE VALUE: At the request of the city’s Department of Real Estate and Asset Management, Miami commissioners have added two vendors to the pre-qualified pool to provide general appraisal services for the department. The two are The Urban Group Inc. and Real Estate Analysts LLC. The resolution also authorizes the city manager to make a professional services agreement with each vendor for an initial two years with an option to renew for three more one-year periods. Total fiscal impact is calculated at $375,000 over the five-year potential term.