Miami Beach

Miami Beach homeowners would see tiny hike under proposed tax rate

A typical Miami Beach homeowner’s property tax bill will increase by a few dollars under a proposed tax rate for the next fiscal year.

Miami Beach is considering adopting a historically low property tax rate of $5.88 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which is slightly lower than last year’s rate and the lowest in at least 54 years, according to the city’s budget department. This year’s decrease is attributed to a lower debt service rate, which the government uses to repay money it has borrowed.

Under the proposed rate, the owner of a median home valued at about $220,000 would pay about $1,004 in property taxes. This marks a $5 increase from last year, assuming the owner qualified for the standard homestead exemption and the home’s assessed value increased by 0.7 percent, the maximum allowed by law this year for an owner-occupied home. The increase can be attributed to rising property values.

With this initial rate set Wednesday, it would be very difficult and costly for the commission to increase it as the city continues to finalize its budget. It can be lowered by the City Commission.

The city’s total general fund budget was about $300 million this year. Commissioners have been discussing the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, in finance committee meetings.

Last week, commissioners agreed to pay for 12 new police officers in the South Beach entertainment district, from Washington Avenue to Ocean Drive, as part of a new police patrol area that would have its own local captain.

“We’re also adding more code officers,” Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemán said.

The focus on increased policing comes after a string of highly publicized robberies in the area.

Miami Beach’s administration will hold two public hearings to discuss a proposed budget in September.

▪ 5:01 p.m. Sept. 14

▪ 5:01 p.m. Sept. 27

Both will be held in the commission chambers on the third floor at 1700 Convention Center Drive.

Homeowners will receive a letter called a “TRIM notice” in August giving them their proposed tax rate and hearing dates. The letter will also include proposed tax rates for the county, school board and other local agencies.

Joey Flechas: 305-376-3602, @joeflech