South Miami keeps tax rate the same

08/05/2014 2:31 PM

08/05/2014 2:32 PM

South Miami is looking at keeping its property-tax rate the same next year, which means longtime residents can expect to pay slightly more.

City commissioners voted unanimously on July 22 to advertise a proposed tax rate of $4.3639 per $1,000 in taxable property value. For the owner of a home valued at $240,000, that translates to about $845, an increase of about $16 from this year.

Those figures assume the owner qualifies for Florida’s homestead exemption and the property’s assessed value increased by 1.5 percent, the maximum allowed under the Florida Constitution for an owner-occupied home.

“One of the things people want from their cities is to help improve their property values,” City Manager Steven Alexander said. “We do that by supplying good schools, parks, roadways, and economic areas. Those areas and benefits make people’s property taxes rise.”

The state constitution limits the impact of those increases on homeowners, but owners of rental homes or commercial property could see larger increases.

“I think a big portion of South Miami’s attraction is the trees and the parks and the police service,” Alexander said. “The geographic location those amenities that the city has are benefits that people want to be around. If they want to be around them they end up spending more on their properties.”

The City Commission will hold two public hearings on the budget. The first hearing will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 9, while the second meeting will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 23. Both meetings will be in the commission chambers at City Hall, 6130 Sunset Drive.

Commissioners also will hold a budget workshop at 9 a.m. Aug. 13.

The new budget year begins Oct. 1.

Sometime this month, residents will receive “TRIM notices,” a state-mandated letter announcing the proposed tax rate and hearing dates.

“We are happy to be able to recommend keeping the same rate,” Alexander said. “I think I’ve gotten some significant savings that I am proposing for the city.”

The commission can decrease, but not increase, the millage rate during the budget process, except under extraordinary circumstances at a significant cost to the city.

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