Next year, taxpayers in North Miami will have the lowest tax rate the city’s approved in about seven years.
The City Council approved a rate of about $7.50 per $1,000 of taxable value and approved a budget of about $150 million at the Sept. 20 budget hearing in City Hall. The rate is a reduction from about $7.93 per $1,000 of taxable value, which has been in place for the past three fiscal years.
“We’re able not only to balance our budget with a lot of money for infrastructure but also lower taxes on people,” Councilman Philippe Bien-Aime said. However, because property values have increased, tax bills might still go up.
The 2017 budget includes about $66 million in general fund money with the largest budgeted amounts going toward the city’s police department, parks and recreation and the public works department.
City staff said the lower rate was made possible in part as a result of new construction on the SoLe Mia site (formerly known as Biscayne Landing) on Biscayne Boulevard. The city also had an 8.8 percent increase in property values from last year according to the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser.
The budget also calls for about $125,000 toward police body camera technology, an initiative the city decided to pursue following the police shooting of unarmed behavior therapist Charles Kinsey in July.
“Based on the research, the preliminary research that the deputy has done working with the police department, we’re confident that this number and this Budget allocation is sufficient,” City Manager Larry Spring said at the Sept. 6 budget hearing.
Between the city’s two budget hearings in September another $400,000 was allocated for citywide housing rehabilitation. City Manager Larry Spring said that funding will supplement the city’s existing process for awarding U.S. Housing and Urban Development money for housing rehab. The process for awarding the new pot of money will follow similar guidelines and will be voted on by the City Council at a future meeting.
Under the new tax rate, a North Miami homeowner with a home valued at $82,000, the median assessed value from the property appraiser’s office, will pay about $244 in property taxes, up from $218 last year. That number assumes that the owner qualified for the standard homestead exemption, and the home’s assessed value rose by 0.7 percent, the maximum allowed by law this year for owner-occupied homes.