I have been a resident of South Beach since 2003. Property taxes have always been outrageous in Miami Beach, while the quality of services provided by the city are poor. Even worse, Mayor Philip Levine and the City Commission have tentatively approved a $7-per-month increase in fees to pay for the city’s major problem with flooding.
While attending a meeting provided by Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Lazaro Solis last month, I learned that the taxes on our properties are calculated based upon the needs of the community and that we are assessed solely on the fair market value of our homes. Again, the public services we deserve and expect are not part of this equation.
South Beach charges First World prices for property taxes, yet the quality of life here is of a Third World country with major flood and sewer problems, filthy alleyways, garbage on the street, traffic jams, insufficient parking, homelessness, rats and stray cats everywhere.
Last year I paid $4,300 in taxes for my 770-square-foot condo living in a chaotic environment, while my friend who lives in South Carolina paid $1,000 in taxes on a beautiful home three times the size of mine in a beautiful subdivision.
Monica Barshop, Miami Beach
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