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Biscayne Park

Biscayne Park may raise tax rate

Residents of Biscayne Park, who already have the highest tax rate in Miami-Dade County, may be dealing with a tax increase. Village commissioners have voted 3-2 to advertise a tentative tax rate of $9.90 per $1,000 in taxable real estate value.

The current tax rate is $9.50. The state limit is $10.

The owner of a $150,000 home would pay about $1,015 in village tax. That’s a $65 increase, and assumes the owner qualifies for the standard $50,000 homestead exemption, and that the home’s taxable value increased by 1.7 percent, the maximum allowed this year for an owner-occupied home.

Vice Mayor Bob Anderson, and Commissioners Barbara Watts and Roxanna Ross voted for the tax rate at the July 23 commission meeting. Mayor Noah Jacobs and Commissioner Bryan Cooper dissented.

“The village needs to become more fiscally responsible. We’re eventually going to run out of money because we’re nearing the cap,” Cooper said, adding that raising the tax rate would not address other problems. “There has never been the political will to effectively manage the budget. I cannot support tax increases without seeing a clearly developed plan.”

According to Ross, although a tentative budget was presented, there were several issues that were not included for example, infrastructure items, repairs on existing vehicles or acquiring new vehicles, and repairs to the log cabin.

“We need to start making plans for these things,” said Ross. “We also received audited financial statements for 2012 that showed a loss of reserve funds. We need to be able to set aside moneys for the reserve fund.”

Commissioners will discuss the budget at workshops at 7 p.m. Aug. 12 and at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 13. Public hearings will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 11 and Sept. 24. All meetings will be held at the Ed Burke Recreation Center, 11400 NE Ninth Court.

The final tax rate will be set at the Sept. 24 hearing. The new budget year starts Oct. 1.

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