Miami-Dade County administers 1,068 special districts, which cover a multitude of different services including security guard gates, lighting districts, lake maintenance and many more. The budget of all special districts combined amounts to $11.9 million per year. Considering that the county’s general fund for 2016 is $1.7 billion, it’s no wonder that the special taxing districts and their management get lost under the county’s purview.
So how do we fix all of this? Simple. Miami Dade County should allow municipalities the ability to create, manage and operate special taxing districts within their own boundaries. Tip O’Neill coined the phrase “All Politics Is Local” and this couldn’t ring any truer for special taxing districts. If local municipalities managed these districts, residents would have quicker access, upgraded responsiveness, and greater accountability for the services they receive from the special taxing districts.
So what do we do about districts in unincorporated areas? Have the community councils take a greater role on these matters. When former Miami Dade County Commissioner, Sen. Miguel Diaz De La Portilla, originally floated the idea of community councils they were meant to make decisions in a setting more accessible to the community.
Lets face it, cities are closest to the people. The buck stops at City Hall.
Manny Cid, Vice Mayor
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