Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera may no longer be at Miami-Dade County Hall. But from Tallahassee, he may be having the last laugh over the budget he left behind as the county's property appraiser.
While crafting his 2013-14 budget last year, Lopez-Cantera set aside funds to eliminate a 5-percent pay contribution from workers. The Florida Department of Revenue, which oversees property appraisers, approved the spending plan.
But then County Mayor Carlos Gimenez sought to extend the pay concession. That created a mismatch between the budget county commissioners approved and the one Lopez-Cantera sent Tallahassee. The two must be identical.
Miami-Dade appealed to the Florida Cabinet to amend the state's version of the budget. Lopez-Cantera wanted to hold off on the revision until commissioners decided whether to keep the concession.
Lopez-Cantera, who was named lieutenant governor in January, ended up being right. The board made up its mind last month to restore workers' pay, leaving most county departments scrambling to make mid-year budget cuts.
The county dropped its appeal of the property appraiser's budget on Feb. 19 in a letter to Gov. Rick Scott.