I applaud Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s budget decision. Raise taxes in a still-struggling economy where thousands still are unemployed, underemployed or making half of what they made before?
As president of a struggling condo association for the past seven years, I compare some of our budget decisions with the county’s. Over the years we’ve had: a negligent developer, 40 foreclosures, delinquent owners, a faulty roof, a fire, plumbing and security issues and bad employees.
We had to take tough measures, including aggressive legal services, firing employees and replacing vendors. We had to raise maintenance fees three years in a row, then we were able to get back on track. We have since lowered fees two consecutive years. Now Citizens is raising our insurance. Some sacrifices will have to be made by cutting employee salaries and some services and renegotiating contracts.
Because of these measures our building is down to three delinquent owners and one foreclosure. Our sale prices are up by 40 percent, rental prices up by 30 percent and the building has a new roof and parking gates. The future looks bright for this 1968 building.
The point is, it takes a lot of juggling, analysis, belt-tightening and sacrifice. One has to have the pulse of the community being served. The mayor is not flip-flopping, he just got a true reading of the county’s situation and decided that raising taxes is the last thing we need right now.
Ana Valenti, Miami