Miami-Dade school board members on Wednesday gave a first nod to the 2016-2017 budget, paving the way to finalizing the biggest portion of a resident’s tax bill.
Under the proposed budget, homeowners will pay a slightly lower tax rate of $7.30 per thousand dollars of taxable property value. Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said it is the lowest tax rate in four decades.
Under the proposed tax rate, the typical homeowner with a property valued at $192,000 and taking the standard homestead exemption would pay about $30 less than last year. But, given rising property values, some homeowners may see their bill increase by about $27, according to district projections.
The school district’s tax rate is largely decided by the Florida Legislature, which sets the minimum districts must levy in order to tap state money.
“This is a values-based budget. It is a budget that prioritizes spending on children and those closest to children, including teachers,” said Carvalho.
For the first time since the 2008 real estate crash, the school district’s budget surpasses $5 billion. While school board members gave mostly glowing reviews of the budget, many called for better teacher pay. Teachers’ salaries account for much of the district’s budget.
“We are losing teachers because our salaries are much lower here than other states,” said board member Susie Castillo.
The budget and tax rate must pass a second vote before becoming final.