Dade Real Estate Tax Rolls Finally Show Growth
Now the “Millage Rate” … or the % in “mills” (thousandths) that determines your taxes is Calculated by: $Budget (negotiated by the politicians) / Taxable Value, which in Miami-Dade County is approx. 22 mills or 2.2% of the Assessed Value.
Therefore its simple mathematics, one can adjust the “mills” Up or Down to balance the Budget. That is, Budget/Total Taxable Value = Millage (simple maths) or Millage X Taxable Value = $Budget
In an appreciating market (1999 – 2006) Taxable Value increased 100+% in 5 – 6 years and the politicians elected NOT to lower the “millage” rate most everywhere, except Marco Island. So taxes went up proportionally, 100+% in the same 5 – 6 year period. And since taxes are in arrears their movement always lags a year behind the market. In a declining market 2007 – 2011 (we’ve stabilized in 2011 – 2012 but the future is yet to come) Taxable Values decrease and unless the “millage” rate is increased proportionally, the Real Estate taxes will go down and that we’ve experienced since 2009.
Now, when the Budget is filled with “Fat”, “The Golden Gooses’ Eggs” grow HUGE and glitter (1999 – 2006) and Taxable Values go Up and IF the “millage” rate remains the same (like it did) HUGE Real Estate Taxes rain down upon property owners, resulting in larger & larger Real Estate Tax Bills for the property owners and HUGE Real Estate Tax revenues for the politicians to spend on … you guessed it … “Fat & Waste”.
So let’s trust that those “voted in” and charged with the responsibility of “SERVING” the Public, now exercise fiscal responsibility, restraint and common sense with this “Dade tax roll finally shows growth” and can Add, Subtract, Multiply & Divide … for remember its Simple Mathematics:
Total Taxable Value X “Millage Rate” = $Budget (not the other way around).
Heck, had the “Millage Rate” been voted to be reduced proportionally during the Real Estate Appreciation cycle, we would maybe not be in this fiscal, financial, folly now. And to the future, always remember, there will be these Ups & Downs, it’s a “market” and markets go through cycles.
So, what should we head from past experiences: Vote consciously this year. NOT with your mind, it & politicians play tricks; NOT with your heart, that’s an emotional decision, often dangerous, often incorrect; instead, VOTE with your Pocketbooks, for that is Reality and anyway … VOTE!
Steve Epstein, on Real Estate Sales & Taxation in Miami-Dade County, Florida.