Parking in Miami: the controversy that has residents furious and threatens the city’s finances

Miami continues to grow from a real estate perspective. Despite the fact that the United States experienced severe cuts in the supply chain, as a result of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and later due to the war in Ukraine, the constructions did not stop. With the boom in this sector, the city established a new parking tax, raising tens of millions of dollars. Nevertheless, now faces a class action lawsuit for being, under state law, an illegal tax.

This Tuesday, a group made up of Miami workers, residents and visitors filed with the Miami-Dade Circuit Court a request for reimbursement of the money they have paid so far and that corresponds to a 15% on the ticket from the parking lot. In the lawsuit they argued that the legislation, specifically the Parking Ordinance and Parking Tax Regulationsprohibit the city from establishing a surcharge of this type, due “to the declining level of tax-exempt real estate in Miami,” according to the statement. The New Herald.

The lawsuit was filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.
The lawsuit was filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.miami herald

The Rationale of the Parking Tax dates back to 2003, when the city was going through a severe financial crisis, which could be dictated thanks to state legislation and a referendum. Due to this, this tax was established, which was applied to transactions in garages, lots and the like, with the basic objective of collection.

However, the same legislation establishes that Florida cities considered “large” can only apply this parking tax to supplement their earnings “when more than 20% of their real estate is exempt from taxes,” according to the media. local.

According to the lawsuit, Miami officials reportedly began violate this provision as of 2017when the portion of the city exempt from property taxes for schools, churches, and property residents fell below that 20%.

If the demand prospers, the finances of the city could be severely affected
If the demand prospers, the finances of the city could be severely affected

Also, with construction and costs increasing, the city’s exemption level is even lower. To support their argument, the complainants submitted public records from the Florida Department of Revenue.

However, in the writing it was only claimed from October 2019 to October 2022, because it is the recovery period allowed by statute of limitations. The demand, which according to miami herald was presented by three representatives, Richard Klugh, Sara Wolfe and Josh Kaiser, who stated that they regularly work in Miami, estimates that the city has raised about $55 million in parking taxes over those three years.

Miami workers, residents and visitors sued the city over parking tax refund
Miami workers, residents and visitors sued the city over parking tax refundPark Chirp

On the other hand, the increases in the value of the properties and the help that the state has received from the federal government to face the pandemic, allowed the city to strengthen its economic situation, and also far exceed the projections of the debacle that it brought with it. the Covid-19.

In fact, the budget for the current fiscal year, which started on October 1, is $200,000 higher than the previous one. Currently, the city has US$1.5 billion to operate. The current income tax is the lowest since 1960.

Should the parking tax class action proceed, Miami’s finances could be severely affected.

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