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Candidate: If Miami-Dade has to raise tax rate, commission should decide without referendum


Daniella Levine Cava, who is running for Miami-Dade County Commission, wouldn't say Thursday if the board should raise the property-tax rate to fund public libraries.

But she did say that if a rate hike is needed, then commissioners should sign off on one themselves, instead of taking the matter to voters in a referendum -- an idea Mayor Carlos Gimenez has floated that would give elected officials some political cover.

"I'm concerned that they might need to" raise the tax rate for libraries, she said Thursday morning outside the Miami-Dade elections department in Doral.

First, commissioners should take a look at how they're spending the money they have, said Levine Cava, who is running against Commissioner Lynda Bell in South Miami-Dade. 

The library department faces a $20 million budget shortfall. A task force convened by Gimenez suggested a tax hike, but the mayor wants public support first.

Levine Cava was at the elections department to submit more than 1,200 signatures to qualify for the ballot by petition, a move candidates use to save on their candidate filing fee and also to show grassroots campaign support.

She said she raised $50,000 in March, bringing her total to more than $250,000. That's respectable for a challenger but still less than the incumbent Bell, who had raised more than $335,000 as of the end of February.


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Ed Jenkins

This incredibly unwise woman who cannot even pick a last name needs to learn that libraries are a thing of the past and the taxpayers do not need to have more of their money confiscated to support obsolete enterprises. If there are to be libraries they should be funded privately as they were to begin with thanks to the great industrialist Andrew Carnegie.


The Mayor and Commissioners hate to take responsibility or lead on anything. They continually look for political cover wherever they can find it. And then when they don't like what the people have to say, they ignore it (see: Pet's Trust).

It's refreshing, to say the least, to hear someone that is willing to take a tough vote and stand by it.

Also, even though you don't use libraries anymore Ed, they remain a great resource to many communities and a place where people can gather, learn, and have access to knowledge.

Bill Thompson

Carnegie funded the building of public library buildings if the local municipalities provided the operating funds to operate said libraries.

Andrew Carnegie, born to poverty taught himself and became a leading industrialist and philanthropist. Among his many philanthropies was the public library—he built and furnished a library if the city agreed to maintain and staff it. He gave over $60 million, which was a vast fortune in 21st-century dollars.[121] Carnegie envisioned that libraries would "bring books and information to all people."[22]

A total of 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929, including some belonging to universities. 1,689 were built in the United States, 660 in Britain and Ireland, 125 in Canada, and others in Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere. By 1930, half the American public libraries had been built by Carnegie.

Carnegie would provide the funds for the building but only after the municipal government had provided a site for the building and had passed an ordinance for the purchase of books and future maintenance of the library through taxation. This policy was in accord with Carnegie's philosophy that the dispensation of wealth for the benefit of society must never be in the form of free charity but rather must be as a buttress to the community's responsibility for its own welfare.


Shut up already you loser thompson. we all know you are such a loser you have to go to the library and use their crappy computers since you can't even afford to buy your own you lowlife scum. Close these libraries already so we don't have to hear from this loser thomson anymore about his crappy life.

Bill Thompson

The Miami-Dade mayor already drastically cut the budget for the libraries to use the funds elsewhere in the county, causing the shortfall. Now he wants to cut even more from the library budget, which is against everything that the founding fathers stood for. Benjamin Franklin was great and early supporter of libraries. The libraries have adjusted and changed their operating model to account for the changes in technology. Our libraries are a great resource for the community and deserve support over stadiums for billionaires.

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