South Miami

South Miami proposes unchanged property tax rate for 2015-16 budget year

The city of South Miami is proposing to keep the same property tax rate for the upcoming 2015-16 budget year in order to keep a stable flow of income while keeping its budget frugal.

The proposal

The city commission has proposed maintaining the tax rate at $4.36 per $1,000 of taxable property value.

Impact on taxpayers

Under the proposed rate, the owner of a median house valued at $200,781 would pay $876.19 in property taxes.

This marks a $53 increase from last year, assuming the owner qualified for the standard homestead exemption and the home’s assessed value increased by 0.8 percent, the maximum allowed by law this year for an owner-occupied home. The slightly higher tax bill is the result of increasing property values in South Miami, which experienced 6.09 percent growth.

The city can not raise the property tax rate any higher as the budget season goes on, but it can be lowered or remain the same. A budget workshop is planned for 9 a.m. Aug. 13 at city hall.

Impact on services

According to South Miami City Manager Steven Alexander, the city plans a few small changes in its “very frugal” budget. Those changes could include better land development regulations and alterations to its parks, which largely can be accomplished inside its existing revenues.

“What we have done is simply to hold the [tax rate] flat and let the recovering housing market provide for some of the expenses that residents want to happen. The other thing is that our police department was really underpaid. That was affecting moral and performance. So one of the other things I thought was important was to get the police a better deal than they were getting. … So that’s where we’ve been putting some of the growth while keeping the [tax rate] flat,” Mayor Philip Stoddard said.

What the city manager says

“It is the same as it was last year. It’s up to the commission to say, but my recommendation is to keep the [property tax rate] right where it is. I think that is the wise path. It’s fiscally responsible. You never know what happens during the year. Its always good to have a stable flow of income.” — Steven Alexander

Public hearings

▪ When: 7 p.m. Sept. 10 for first hearing; 7 p.m. Sept. 24 for second hearing

▪ Where: City Hall, 6130 Sunset Dr.

Check your mailbox

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.