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More on Sharief-Castillo tax spat

Pembroke Pines City Commissioner Angelo Castillo and Miramar City Commissioner Barbara Sharief portrayed Sharief's votes on taxes differently today in this blog.

Castillo said Sharief voted twice for budgets that would increase tax collections.

"My budget didn't increase ad valorum taxes," she said. "Ninety percent of the people in the city experienced a decrease in taxes on the budget I did vote for."

We asked Miramar budget director David Goldman for the numbers on the current fiscal year's budget. He said the total ad valorem taxes budgeted for Fiscal Year 2010 was $49,557,700 compared to $48,750,000 -- so about a $798,000 increase. Goldman told us in an email "51% of City taxpayers experienced a decrease in their taxes as a result of the Fiscal Year 2010 budget."

Next year's budget won't be finalized until September but the Commission voted July 7 for a proposed tax rate that is projected to generate $42.5 million in taxes, or $7,057,000 less than the current fiscal year.



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Commander Zero

For years, politicians were campaigning on "decreasing" taxes (the millage rate) while average assessments "increased." Now some Cities will "increase" the millage while assessments "decrease." If there is even a sliver of truth to the idea a politician "decreased" taxes, that's what they say on their campaign ad, while their opponent will accuse them of "increasing" taxes. Both can stand on the part of the truth that makes them look better than their opponent.

The 1% sliver of truth that Sharief can stand on is that that she "decreased" taxes for 1% more than 50% of City taxpayers) while the truth that Castillo can stand on is that total ad valorem taxes "increased" by Sharief's vote.

Meanwhile in many Cities politicians offload taxes on sanitation fees, bond issues, red light camera fees, or they pile taxes onto small businesses or the poorest residents in the form of increased real estate taxes on their landlords who were unprotected (until recently) by Save Our Homes.


No matter how you twist it, state law says that if you collect more money, you increased taxes. They get around it by touting the "decreased tax rate"

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