A Fresh Perspective! The Potential Role of Our Tax Collector in Mitigating Miami-Dade's Housing Shortfall Opinion

A Fresh Perspective! The Potential Role of Our Tax Collector in Mitigating Miami-Dade’s Housing Shortfall | Opinion

DEBARYLIFE  –  Voters in Miami-Dade will choose the leader of the Office of its Tax Collector for the first time in November, and I am pleased to be a candidate for this crucial role.

There is a prevalent belief that this role is purely bureaucratic, based on my interactions with voters and stakeholders across the county.

We must acknowledge that the person chosen for this position will have a bully pulpit to influence and create policy on some of the most important issues facing our country right now, even though it is true that our new tax collector will have many administrative responsibilities to handle (collection of property, bed, and business taxes, regulation of DMV/tag agencies, and issuing fishing and hunting licenses, to name a few).

And the shortage of affordable housing in Miami-Dade is the biggest problem that needs to be solved.

One cannot emphasize how important affordable housing alternatives are.

Whether made worse by the conflict between the scarcity of available homes and the explosive growth in foreign real estate investment or made worse by the unaffordable increase in home insurance rates, we must act quickly to find a workable solution.

A Fresh Perspective! The Potential Role of Our Tax Collector in Mitigating Miami-Dade's Housing Shortfall Opinion (1)

Though far from flawless, the newly enacted Live Local Act is a significant legislative measure that attempts to tackle this important problem.

By offering substantial incentives to developers—such as sales tax refunds on building materials used for these units and exemptions from property taxes—the Live Local Act aims to promote workforce housing by encouraging the construction of more affordable units.

One immediate benefit for locals is an increase in the number of affordable housing alternatives available in their neighborhoods, which will lessen the need for long commutes and enhance their quality of life. A larger tax base and a workforce that is more secure and resilient will unavoidably result from all of this.

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Taking an innovative approach to customer service by developing precise and easy-to-find applications, along with professional and dedicated staff to answer questions and guide stakeholders every step of the way to reduce overall processing time, the head of Miami Dade’s Office of the Tax Collector will play a crucial role in facilitating this initiative. Together with local governments, they will work to streamline the application process for those developments claiming Live Local tax benefits.

Along with participating in frequent workshops and educational activities regarding the opportunities and limitations under the Live Local Act, the tax collector must also pledge to maintain open and transparent communication. Residents can only ask questions and express issues in these types of open forums, which guarantee a cooperative approach.

Moreover, although exemptions from property taxes eventually lower the total tax burden, developers must pay hefty upfront expenses. To minimize any severe financial burden that may prohibit projects from being developed, the Tax Collector will need to investigate measures to speed the exemption procedure.

In addition, the tax collector has to collaborate with the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser to make sure developers are aware of the precise steps involved in claiming exemptions, which could in some circumstances eliminate the requirement for upfront payments.

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This act represents an investment in our future as a people, not just a tax cut. We create a situation where people, developers, and the state’s economic future all benefit by providing incentives for greater affordable housing complexes.

The tax collector’s office is responsible for more than just collecting taxes; by helping to create policies pertaining to affordable housing, it may promote a thriving economy and enhance quality of life.

We can help more Floridians have access to affordable housing by enlightening stakeholders, streamlining the application process, and lowering up-front costs.

Thinking beyond the box and beyond the four corners of what could otherwise become simply another bureaucratic position, let’s make the most of this exceptional opportunity to pick our Tax Collector for the first time. Together, let’s investigate the various approaches to creating a more promising future, inexpensive brick at a time.

Bryan Calvo is a councilman for Hialeah at the moment. In November, he will step down from his position to pursue the top position at the Miami-Dade Office of the Tax Collector. He will go up against former Miami-Dade County Commissioner candidate Dariel Fernandez in the August Republican primary.

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