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New Miami-Dade property appraiser election will be a partisan contest

Miami-Dade County to have new property appraiser in 2024
Miami-Dade County to have new property appraiser in 2024 03:04

MIAMI - A Republican former Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado wants to be the next Miami-Dade Property Appraiser "because I think the most consequential crisis that we have now is housing," said 76-year-old Regalado.

Democrat Marisol Zenteno, who ran in 2020, has decided to run again "because the office has not improved, we still have so many inefficiencies," said the 57-year-old, who has not held a political office before.  

Current Miami-Dade Property Appraiser 86-year-old Pedro Garcia is not running for re-election after three consecutive terms. That is not the only change, "This office responds now to Miami Dade County Government, it will not do that beginning of 2025," said Regalado. 

"We're going to be independent from the mayor and from the commissioners," said Zenteno who has worked at the Appraiser's Office for years.  She lost to Garcia three years ago. The property assessor's office establishes taxable values for all properties in Miami Dade.

When Regalado was asked about his platform he said "Increase the homestead exception, $25,000 have been on the book for 50 years, it's no longer viable for homeownership to have that discount."

Regalado understands Tallahassee is the one that can change that because Homestead Exemption applies to all the state of Florida.

"Customer service, we need to help the customer, we need to help the taxpayer understand how they can save, how they can avoid the pitfalls," said Zenteno about her platform.  She has been a local activist and an appraiser for over two decades.  Regalado is a veteran television and radio journalist who served as mayor of Miami for two terms.  As far as age vs new blood, Regalado says he brings experience.  "I have accumulated knowledge about knowing people in every single city in Miami Dade County.  I have a great relationship with the state legislature," said Regalado. 

"I've been appraising properties in Miami Dade County for over 30 years, we need an appraiser at the office, not a politician," said Zenteno.

Two candidates are participating in this election so far, but more can register, the deadline to do that is June 2024.  

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