Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year!
Why we do not support Incorporation
There are a variety of pitfalls and expenses involved with creating a new town. Someone has to pay for the staff and infrastructure, the town manager and attorneys, and more. The local residents will bear the cost and other parts of the County will also end up paying via their loss of the tax base from the donor area that helped support County services. Municipalities County-wide have higher property tax millage rates and more fees than unincorporated areas. Read further for a full explanation of why incorporation is not a good idea for most residents.
Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year!
The County Office Of Management & Budget has completed their tabulation of the incorporation surveys and our Commissioner has shared her response to the results. We are grateful for those who took the time to fill in and mail in their surveys and appreciate Commissioner Levine Cava's effort to listen to the community and make her decision based...
Here Are The Honest, Simple To Comprehend Facts That Residents Need To Recognize:
Select "No" to incorporation and "No" to a MAC.
Here are some links with short explanations of why these sources will help you see the real facts of this issue:
Inspector General's Office - full jurisdiction limited ONLY to unincorporated Dade County. can only go into city where county funds have been used = no oversight of other city functions
Florida Department Of Revenue Communications Service Tax Rates = note different rates. new taxing authority can change rates.
Go to pages 10, 11, and 12
Florida Department of Revenue - type in any address and it will give you the tax rates that apply to that property. very handy
Florida Department of Law Enforcement class one crime statistics
Go to pages 13 and 14
Past history may give us some clues as to why there is such a push
to get us to relinquish our autonomy... only to be governed by the state
- so...is that government "closer to the people?"
When an area becomes a city, they then answer to the state, for pre emption, for criminal oversight (our Inspector General only can meddle in city issues when County funds are involved). The county can't even step in when city residents want to have a vote to unincorporate. So the question is;
If all of Miami-Dade were to become only a collection of cities - even if they were to keep their Home Rule Charter, what would they be allowed to "rule" over??? As a county gutted of its residents, that would just leave..wait for it....the Seaport, Airport, and other items held back from incorporations due to their county-wide importance.
Please read these articles and let me know what you think.
State and county properties have immunity from Ad Valorem Tax based on the concept of Sovereign Immunity. Municipal property doesn't have this Immunity. Municipal property is exempt from Ad Valorem Taxation only if it is being used by the municipality for a municipal purpose which is narrowly defined. Municipalities aren't allowed to have their own courts. Municipalities can only create quasi-judicial boards such as Code Enforcement Boards to enforce municipal codes. Homestead protection from creditors precludes a municipality from placing a code enforcement lien against homestead property. The boards aren't allowed to impose incarceration either. The governor has broad suspension authority over state and county officers for misconduct but can only suspend municipal officers when a municipal officer is indicted for a crime. Circuit courts have jurisdiction to review all municipalities quasi-judicial decisions. https://www.stetson.edu/law/lawreview/media/municipalities-and-the-florida-constitution.pdf
Article VIII Section 11 of the Florida Constitution dealing with the powers granted to Dade County.
Dade County, home rule charter.-(1) The electors of Dade County, Florida, are granted power to adopt, revise, and amend from time to time a home rule charter of government for Dade County, Florida, under which the Board of County Commissioners of Dade County shall be the governing body. This charter: (c) May change the boundaries of, merge, consolidate, and abolish and may provide a method for changing the boundaries of, merging, consolidating and abolishing from time to time all municipal corporations, county or district governments, special taxing districts, authorities, boards, or other governmental units whose jurisdiction lies wholly within Dade County, whether such governmental units are created by the Constitution or the Legislature or otherwise, except the Dade County Board of County Commissioners as it may be provided for from time to time by this home rule charter and the Board of Public Instruction of Dade County. (g) Shall provide a method by which each municipal corporation in Dade County shall have the power to make, amend or repeal its own charter. Upon adoption of this home rule charter by the electors this method shall be exclusive and the Legislature shall have no power to amend or repeal the charter of any municipal corporation in Dade County. (6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or restrict the power of the Legislature to enact general laws which shall relate to Dade County and any other one or more counties of the state of Florida or to any municipality in Dade County and any other one or more municipalities of the State of Florida relating to county or municipal affairs and all such general laws shall apply to Dade County and to all municipalities therein to the same extent as if this section had not been adopted and such general laws shall supersede any part or portion of the home rule charter provided for herein in conflict therewith and shall supersede any provision of any ordinance enacted pursuant to said charter and in conflict therewith, and shall supersede any provision of any charter of any municipality in Dade County in conflict therewith. https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Constitution
2002 - articles on the effort to get rid of Miami-dade's Home Rule Charter(failed) - but efforts are ongoing
County commissioners have home rule protections https://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2011/03/state_legislators_want_to_take.php
HB17 - removing most local control from all cities and counties to state level https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/17/BillText/c1/PDF
Article on pre emption
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A new city means higher taxes, more fees, more liabilities.
Miami Dade Millage chart for 2017
Amendment 11 - shows that senior homestead exemption is NOT included automatically
This link takes you to the property tax exemptions - note, the last senior homestead exemption is NOT given within some municipalities as it is in unincorporated Dade County.
New Homestead exemption on Florida ballot - passage would bring big tax loss burden for small cities