New $540M courthouse proposal draws critics

Commissioners disagree about how to fund the project
August 29, 2014 03:45PM

The Miami-Dade courthouse

A proposal for a new taxpayer funded Miami courthouse is facing critics.

At a recent public meeting, commissioners disagreed over what should be on a proposed ballot question seeking $540 million, according to the Miami Herald.

“From the standpoint of need, I understand it completely,” said Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo, chairman of the commission’s finance committee. However, he questioned issuing another $540 million in debt after taxpayers approved $1.2 billion in new government debt for public schools and $830 million for the Jackson Health System.

The current proposal would include the costs of building a new courthouse on county-owned property, $25 million in repairs for the current courthouse and refinancing an existing $132 million debt.

At a recent gathering lead by Commissioner Xavier Suarez at the historic Dade County Courthouse everyone agreed that a new courthouse is necessary – just not how to pay for it.

“We’re going to lose a couple of commissioners, not to mention the general public,” without an incentive, Suarez said. [Miami Herald]Christopher Cameron