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Homeowners React To Mayor Gimenez's Tax Plan

MIAMI (CBS4) - Enid Lee's story is all too familiar to thousands of homeowners in Miami-Dade County hit with last year's property tax hike on homes worth less than owed to the bank or mortgage company.

But now, newly elected Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is trying to make good on his promise of relief from high tax bills.

The mayor laid out his property tax decrease plan at Thursday's night's first public budget hearing. A plan that would reverse the increase put into effect under recalled County Mayor Carlos Alvarez.

"During the campaign I told the people of Miami-Dade County I was going to roll back the taxes to the 09-10 rate," said Gimenez.

A rate that depending on where you live in the county. It could mean hundreds of dollars in saving for homeowners.

"Better down than up," said homeowner Enid Lee.

Under the mayor's tax roll back plan, a homeowner in Hialeah with homestead exemption on a property assessed at 200 thousand dollars would save around one hundred dollars and more than two hundred without homestead exemption.

In Coral Gables, the savings would be a little close to 120 dollars with homestead exemption and nearly 250 dollars without.

In Florida City, saving would range from nearly 130 dollars to close to 300 dollars. In unincorporated areas of the county savings would run from over 150 dollars to more than three hundred dollars.

"Saving money any way you can save money is the way to go," said homeowner Sissy Shute.

But getting there may prove tough. Budget negotiations with union employees faced with giving up more pay and benefits are not going well. The mayor's plan also calls eliminating jobs, cutting the budgets of many non-profit agencies and reducing some county services to close a 400 million dollar budget gap.

The county commission will discuss the proposed budget at a second public hearing on September 22nd and must be finalized by October 1st.



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