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North Miami to use Biscayne Landing money to balance budget

North Miami council members passed a balanced 2013-2014 budget that includes a lower property-tax rate, and less money in the Biscayne Landing fund.

The budget, which passed 4-1, has a new property tax rate of $7.80 per $1,000 in taxable home value. This is lower than the proposed rate of $8.10 per $1,000 – this was also the rate for the previous year.

The lower rate means the amount of money the city will raise from property taxes has decreased. The estimated amount with the previous rate of $8.10 was $16.9 million. The amount now is roughly $16.3 million. Exact figures were not available at Wednesday’s budget meeting.

With the lower tax rate, however, changes had to be made to keep the budget balanced.

The city council used $500,000 from Biscayne Landing money to make the balance happen. This action got the lone dissenting vote from Councilwoman Carol Keys.

“We effectively balanced the budget with Biscayne Landing funds,” Keys said after the meeting.

The city set aside $780,000 for capital improvements, and there is “no identification of what that is,” said Keys who believes that amount should have been lower. She said had the city lowered it to $280,000 there would be an extra $500,000 left over.

There is $2 million left from the original $17 million of Biscayne Landing money given to North Miami by the Biscayne Landing developers for the project.

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