The Doral City Council voted Thursday to lower the tax rate to the second-lowest rate in the county for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
The council unanimously approved lowering the rate to $1.9280 per $1,000 of taxable property. This marks a decrease of 29 cents from the maximum rate approved in early August. Then, the council voted to keep the millage the same.
Now, only Aventura has a lower rate in Miami-Dade.
The median price of a home in Doral is about $177,000 in assessed value. The owner of such a home would pay about $250 in city property taxes under the proposed tax rate. That’s a $32 decrease from last year, assuming the owner qualifies for the standard $50,000 homestead exemption and the home’s assessed value increased by 1.7 percent, the maximum allowed this year for an owner-occupied home.
This doesn’t include other taxes levied by the county, the school board and other agencies.
Mayor Luigi Boria, who proposed lowering the rate, said it would benefit taxpayers and help the city in its efforts to annex one square mile of land in the northwest area of the city, north of 58th Street.
“It will make businesses want to come to our city,” he said.
The change will have no effect on the city’s proposed budget, which totals about $38 million.
It will lower the amount going into reserves by about $2 million, down to about $13 million.
“This is a significant and healthy amount of surplus to have for next fiscal year’s budget,” he told the council during a budget hearing Thursday night.
The council has supported increasing the city’s reserves to put away money for future building projects as the 10-year-old city grows.
This year’s budget is tighter than last year’s by about $4 million after the council voted to amend last year’s budget, slashing it from $58 million to about $42 million earlier this summer.
The bulk of that decrease came from altering plans for a new $7 million police headquarters. Instead of a new building, the police department moved into a two-building compound shared with Public Works. Other cuts came from changes to the city employee retirement system and reduced overtime for the police department.
The police department stands to get about $1 million more this year, bringing its total budget to about $14 million. The departments plans to hire 11 more officers. It also wants to increase patrols, improve response times, mitigate traffic at schools and get more officers certified in special skills.
The next budget hearing is scheduled for 5:01 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Doral Government Center, 8401 NW 53rd Terr.
The new budget year begins Oct 1.
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