Four Miami-Dade municipalities could expand

MIAMI– Four municipalities in Miami-Dade could be expanding. County commissioners met Thursday over a proposal to divide up a portion of unincorporated Miami-Dade County, which is primarily industrial and commercial land.

Some mayors and city officials say this annexation makes sense and will provide services such as fire, police and more.

Meanwhile, some business owners say it’s going to be a tax burden and it’s unfair and un-American.

“It’s less the money to me than the way it happened, it’s the most undemocratic process I’ve ever seen,” said business owner Jeffrey Kluger.

Kluger owns businesses in an area that will potentially be annexed by Miami Springs. They employ about 150 people and he is unhappy to say that his taxes will rise dramatically.

“I don’t blame the nice people of Miami Springs if they gave me a gift, I would take it too, it’s a lot of money for them!” said Kluger.

The municipalities affected are Doral, Miami Springs, Medley and Virginia Gardens. These annexations will primarily divide the industrial lands of unincorporated Miami-Dade.

Miami Springs Mayor Maria Puente Mitchell says she’s happy with the decision and that their taxes won’t go up.

“What they’re basing it on is our current mileage rate and our current mileage rate is high, but our current mileage rate is precisely because we don’t have the industrial commercial components to lower the mileage rate like other towns like Doral,” Mitchell said.

City leaders say it will get them more services, like police, fire and more.

President Jose Pepe Diaz said it was a four-city deal that has lasted 18 years.

“Quite simply, these annexations have come into force. Miami Gardens has a lot of the shopping area and other places too, so if you’re going to be fair to one, you’re going to be fair to everyone. That’s the reason I’m supportive,” he said.

As business owners fear higher taxes and another level of government, Diaz says business owners need to sit down with cities.

“Find ways to mitigate and do things that help you because this whole county will end up being annexed or incorporated,” Diaz said.

What was passed on Thursday is the first step, a four-city interlocal agreement. He will now move on to the next process, which means they will work with the county to come up with an order.

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