Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Tuesday proposed a county budget for next year that, to avoid a property-tax rate hike, would eliminate hundreds of police jobs, close a golf course, trim hours at Zoo Miami, and raise Metrorail and Metrobus fares for the second year in a row.
Public libraries would remain open — but with far fewer full-time librarians. Two successful programs to help youth offenders would be scrapped. Subsidies for community-based organizations that provide social services would get a 10 percent cut.
To close a $64 million budget deficit, 674 positions would be eliminated across county government, which has a work force of about 25,000. Because many of the jobs are already vacant, it’s likely that the number of actual pink slips would be smaller.
The tax rate set each year by county commissioners would remain flat under Gimenez’s 2014-15 proposal. A separate portion of taxes that pays for voter-approved construction projects would go up 6 percent, thanks largely to last year’s $830 million bond referendum for the Jackson Health System.
A homeowner in an unincorporated neighborhood such as Kendall with a taxable property value of $200,000 would pay an additional $5.34 in county taxes, which are only part of a total tax bill. That’s without taking into account any increase in property values, which rose by an average of 6.8 percent in Miami-Dade this year.