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El Portal council proposes slightly higher tax rate

El Portal residents are looking at a slightly higher tax rate for next year. But whether that translates to a higher tax bill may depend on when you bought your home.

By RODOLFO ROMAN
Special to The Miami Herald
With a decline in property tax revenues, El Portal officials will be keeping a close eye on the village budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Village Council last week unanimously approved on first reading a proposed tax rate of $7.90 per $1,000 of taxable value, up from last year’s $7.84.

The final rate will be determined after a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at Village Hall, 500 NE 87th St.

“Residents won’t feel anything because the change is so small,” said Village Manager Jason Walker.

Walker added that the budget calls for an estimated loss of $131,000 in property tax revenues.

Some homeowners may actually pay less than this year because of falling property values. El Portal property values have fallen more than 17 percent this year, according to the Miami-Dade property appraiser’s office. The total value of taxable real estate in the village fell from $104 million to $84 million.

Longtime homeowners whose assessed property values still haven’t caught up with market values would see a bigger tax bill, but people who bought at the height of the market might see a smaller bill due to falling assessments.

The proposed $1.7 million budget would be down $112,533 from this year.

The village’s administration department would take the hardest hit with a decrease of $44,182. One of the department’s three employees may have to go from full- to part-time, Walker said.

Vice mayor Harold Mathis Jr., said this year was “the most difficult budget process since I have been on the dais.”

Village residents won’t pay more for trash collection, however. The fee will remain at $373 for single family homes.

Despite the budget crunch, Walker said El Portal has maintained a healthy reserve account. The village has about $900,000 in reserves for use in emergencies, such as hurricanes.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/09/14/1825134/el-portal-council-proposes-slightly.html#ixzz0zeVqUHRH

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