Lakes gets green light for mill's worth of city tax
Sebastian del Marmol
commissioners agreed unanimously Tuesday to let the Miami Lakes area
vote on incorporation in exchange for one mill of property taxes from
the new city.
Manager Merrett Stierheim said the plan, which includes paying the
county a percentage of the proposed city's property tax revenues to
mitigate the county's loss, moves Miami-Dade in the proper direction
said the Miami Lakes incorporation movement was the first whose organizers
understood that piecemeal incorporation would harm those left out
boggles my mind how people can be in a dream world and think we can
create money out of thin air," Mr. Stierheim said. "The
Miami Lakes group is the most rationale and reasonable group we have
dealt with. The negotiations have been give and take."
said the plan is not everything he had hoped for but he recommended
Slaton, chairman of the Miami Lakes Advisory Committee for Incorporation,
said area residents acknowledge that they pay more in taxes to the
county than they get in services and are willingly to contribute to
a Municipal Service Trust Fund to reduce the impact.
the past it has been each city for itself. That is no longer politically
correct," Mr. Slaton said. "This plan will benefit Miami
Lakes and the surrounding communities."
Stierheim said the money generated by the mill tax would mostly be
used for police services in Carol City and Liberty City.
Slaton said should residents vote to incorporate, the area would still
get county fire, library and solid waste services. He said Miami-Lakes
would privately contract with Miami-Dade police for protection.
Miriam Alonso supported the plan but questioned county staff about
the impact incorporation would have on nearby communities also looking
to incorporate, such as Country Club Lakes and Palm Springs North.
Mr. Stierheim's assurances that services would still be provided,
Pedro Reboredo asked for a deferral until those questions were answered.
cannot put a stop to what Miami Lakes is doing. It's unjust,"
she said. She said the county should honor the process and let the
incorporation vote take place. Afterward, Ms. Seijas-Millan said,
other concerns can be taken up.
several residents from areas also hoping to incorporate supported
the Miami Lakes vote, they cautioned the county against using the
plan as a model.
Blue, representing the Committee for Incorporation of Kendall, said
he hoped the plan didn't set a precedent for his area and others.
needs of Kendall, Palmetto Bay and other areas are unique. Each area
has to have its own design," Mr. Blue said.
Levy, president of the West Dade Federation, which supports incorporation
of the Doral area, said if the Miami Lakes plan is adopted the city
must raise taxes or go bankrupt.
am convinced that they will regret the concessions," Mr. Levy
said the plan would reduce Miami Lakes to a "second class"
town that will have to carry the financial burden of the rest of the
Levy also said it is unfair to make new cities pay added costs while
existing cities don't.
Stierheim said existing cities could not be forced to pay added taxes
to support unincorporated areas. He also said future incorporations
must include provisions to account for the rest of the county.
said the past three incorporations of Key Biscayne, Aventura and Sunny
Isles Beach effectively resulted in tax increases for the balance
of the county.