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Front Page » Top Stories » Miami Officials Working On Plan To Cut Property Taxes

Miami Officials Working On Plan To Cut Property Taxes

Written by on January 27, 2005

By Yeleny Suarez
Based on a construction-fueled doubling of city tax rolls predicted in two years, Miami officials are developing a plan with one priority in mind: cutting the tax rate.

"I made a commitment to reduce the rate and have done it during the three budget cycles and intend to continue doing it because the people in Miami deserve it," Mayor Manny Diaz said Tuesday.

The city reports 233 mixed-used projects in the pipeline that include 66,648 housing units at a projected cost topping $17 billion.

Mr. Diaz said he couldn’t predict how big a tax cut can be expected. "It is a function based on an annual analysis, so I cannot say. But in my three years in office, there has been an accumulative decrease of 6%."

The city’s millage rate today is 8.72, which means $8.72 in taxes are paid for every $1,000 in assessed property value that is not protected by the $25,000 homestead exemption.

"It’s too early to determine whether all the projects will go through or not," City Manager Joe Arriola said. "Still, it won’t hit our tax roles for two or three years, and as soon as it starts coming in, our No. 1 priority is to cut the millage rate."

The city’s chief of budgeting and strategic planning, Larry Spring, said last week that city officials expect the city’s $22.5 billion tax roll to increase at least 10% next year.

The city is developing a strategic plan, a map guiding goals and strategies for the city, Mr. Spring said. He did not disclose details but said components include tax relief, excellent city service, parks and transportation.

Mr. Arriola said the city is in planning and talking on its strategic plan but it would take three to four years to establish.

"There are a lot of variables," Mr. Spring said. "We have to make sure the city is on solid financial ground. We want those additional revenues to make one city, one future."