general_questions_property_taxes_fl_2007.jpg

 (Gráfico de la encuesta Schroth, Eldon & Associates)

La posibilidad de que los propietarios en Miami-Dade vean ‘alivios’ en el pago de los impuestos a la propiedad sigue siendo ambigua, enmarañada en mil conceptos que la mayoría de los residentes no entiende; y peor aún, en Tallahassee no han tenido en cuenta las repercusiones de este tímido-insuficiente intento de reducir los taxes en el futuro próximo local que, con las proyecciones nacionales de desaceleración de la economía, la lluvia de foreclosures (en Miami-Dade principalmente, en septiembre: 17,509) y el aumento del Medicaid que incrementará a $500 millones el año próximo anuncia desastres. Más estos 41,544 defaults de pagos de taxes a la propiedad que crecen.

Todo el mundo sabe que paga demasiado y eso, si le sumamos el seguro a la propiedad está elevando el costo de vida de los propietarios, y como consecuencia, de los inquilinos que ven subir la renta a niveles descomunales. Miami-Dade tiene el Top en la lista del Census Bureau de costos a los propietarios que un 24 por ciento paga en nuestra ciudad más de un 50 por ciento de su salario en la propiedad. Le sigue Broward County en 6to lugar. Por ciudades, en Hialeah, un 73.5 de los inquilinos que pagan más del 30 por ciento de su salario (el estimado nacional que debe pagar un propietario) en la propiedad.

El mayor conflicto es que el 29 de enero de 2008 habrá que votar por una escuálida e incompleta enmienda, fruto de varios años de discusiones que no va a solucionar el problema inmediato ni el que enfrentaremos a corto plazo y que dará más dolores de cabeza del que quitará.

La enmienda SJR 2-D incrementa el ‘homestead exception’, propone una transferencia de $500.000 de ‘Save Our Homes’ al próximo ‘homestead’ (otra propiedad) y promete $25.000 de exemption al ‘tangible’ de la propiedad personal, pero deja en el limbo cómo resolver el problema de los sectores que se quedan sin el financiamiento. Al final, van a sacar el dinero de alguna parte y ahí precisamente es muy probable que los gobiernos locales busquen subir los impuestos por otro lado.

Los problemas mayores de la enmienda SJR 2-D:

–Que no se han analizado las repercusiones de esta enmienda en los próximos cinco años. –Que esta enmienda deja sin casi $2 billones proyectados a las escuelas y los gobiernos (locales) van a tener que cubrir esto de alguna manera. –Que si la votación hace pasar la escuálida enmienda no podremos conseguir mejores resultados en Tallahassee por otros cinco o diez años.

El aumento de los taxes a la propiedad (y los seguros también) afecta directa y aproximadamente a un 48 por ciento de los residentes de la Florida. Pero repercute en la mayoría de los residentes que rentan, la otra mayoría (Schroth, Eldon & Associates).

Otro tsunami: Tenemos sobre nosotros la lluvia negra de los foreclosures donde la Florida compite en los primeros lugares del desastre nacional. Donde se espera que a mediados del 2008 (fecha en que se vencen muchos sub-primes loans) la hecatombe llegue y se instale con una macro economía nacional disminuyendo a un uno y algo por ciento proyectada por los analistas. SJR 2-D no planea ni tiene en cuenta los mayores problemas.

El análisis económico adecuado, serio, que en realidad beneficie a la Florida, a nuestras comunidades locales brilla por su ausencia.

Enlaces de referencia:

Property-tax defaults on the rise

More than 71,000 residential property owners in Miami-Dade and Broward counties failed to pay property taxes for 2006, and delinquencies are growing as costs climb and the slump deepens

In Miami-Dade County, 41,544 residential property owners — one of every 16 households — failed to pay their 2006 property-tax bills. That’s an increase of 41 percent from the year before, according to an analysis of county tax data. In Broward, the number grew 54 percent to 29,962 — about one per 21 households.

MORE FORECLOSURES

Also likely fueling the increase are 17,509 properties as of September that have entered foreclosure in Miami-Dade since the beginning of the year — compared with 9,814 for all of 2006. Most lenders will not make tax payments on loans in foreclosure, even if they’ve been setting the borrower’s money aside.

Poll: Voters not sold on property-tax plan

The Legislature’s property-tax proposal faces significant resistance from Florida voters, who must approve it with 60 percent of the vote in January

The survey of 800 Florida voters also shows that 44 percent believe the state is headed in the wrong direction, property insurance is the top pocketbook worry, and legislators are doing an abysmal job on property taxes and insurance.

”It’s all brewing into a perfect storm of pessimism,” said Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster with the Polling Company, which along with Democratic pollster Schroth, Eldon & Associates did the poll for The Miami Herald and a coalition of media outlets.

LEGISLATORS’ JOB

And that same number — 77 percent — of voters believe the Legislature’s efforts in January to reduce property-insurance rates did very little to nothing at all. Only 10 percent said they believe rates will go down.

To get the 60 percent of the vote needed, Crist will have to persuade the most reluctant voters: women, especially those with children and jobs, according to the poll. After pollsters explained the effects of the plan to those voters, their support of the measure dropped significantly.

–Census Data / Property: Chequear aquí http://www.miamifly.net/interactive/census/

–2007-2008 Property Tax: Chequear aquí http://miamifly.net/interactive/proptax/

–Enmienda  Property Tax SJR 2-D  sujeta a votación en 2008 (en Flashmiami)

–Foreclosures Miami-Dade: Chequear en Flashmiami.

–PDF The Miami herald / Property Taxes: Consultar aquí.

–The Miami Herald / Página sobre los taxes a la propiedad: Consultar aquí.

Falling Fla. property values expected in ’08 (The Miami Herald)

State economists are forecasting that property values, for the first time in recent memory, will decrease statewide, which could lead to fewer government services

The forecast isn’t completely dire, though, because new construction should add about 2 percent more to the rolls, meaning the tax base would decrease by just 1 percent.

Still, that could have far-reaching effects on citizens’ tax bills and government services:

–The state’s schools would receive $233.7 million less than expected. That would force legislators to cut spending on the classroom, add more state money to the school’s piggy banks or raise property-tax rates.

–Local governments might argue that they’ll have to raise tax rates as well to pay for police, fire and administrative services.

Raising rates could be easier for local governments to do, ironically, because of the unintended consequences of a tax-cut law the Legislature passed in June.

The situation is getting worse.

Home sales and prices are flat or falling, as are collections of sales taxes and real estate transaction taxes. The construction industry aside, the economy is hurting in rural areas as well, where farms have been hit by drought and flagging demand for produce.

Meantime, expenses for Medicaid to help the poor and elderly are expected to rise by as much as $500 million next year.

Property-tax proposal could affect Miami-Dade budget (Nov. 02, 2007)

Local leaders say they’re bracing for additional reductions in property-tax revenue if voters approve a statewide amendment Jan. 29 — and that may not be the end of attempts to cut taxes.

”We’re going to do everything possible to avoid impact to direct services,” said county Mayor Carlos Alvarez, echoing similarly vague sentiments from leaders of Miami Beach, Coral Gables and elsewhere. Miami-Dade County government stands to lose $97 million under the amendment, which would increase homestead exemptions, cap tax increases on other properties and allow homeowners to take some tax savings with them when they move.

The county’s 36 municipalities would lose an additional $35.4 million, according to an analysis from the county’s budget office. The hardest hits would be $10 million to the city of Miami, $5.9 million to Hialeah and $3 million to Miami Beach.

Alvarez said he expects further cuts because so many of his constituents have told him that the Jan. 29 referendum is not nearly enough.

Eventually, he said, the cuts will push into residents’ lives — parks, animal services, cultural programs and, as a last resort, public safety.

”The increases we experienced for many years are just not going to happen again,” Alvarez said. “When it comes to tax reform, I just don’t believe what’s being proposed Jan. 29 is the last we’re going to see.”