Florida tax dollars could help fund American Dream Miami

Property taxes could help cover project's infrastructure bill

Mar.March 04, 2016 12:00 PM

Miami-Dade County taxpayer dollars could reportedly help fund the development of Triple Five’s massive American Dream Miami, thanks to a newly amended bill in the state legislature.

The Senate bill originally centered on Florida’s growth-management laws, but a proposed January amendment tacks on an interesting feature: county governments would gain the ability to create special taxing districts, which would draw on local property taxes raised from new construction or growing property values. Those funds would then be intended for supporting economic development inside their respective districts.

The bill’s language doesn’t specifically target any projects, but county lobbyists have said that the amendment was made with American Dream Miami in mind, according to the Miami Herald.

Although the taxes couldn’t directly pay for the construction of Triple Five’s $4 billion American Dream Miami mega-mall, they could cover the cost of infrastructure improvements like sewage hookups and roadwork. The bill was originally sponsored by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, a land-use attorney who also represents Triple Five in its campaign for county approvals, according to the Herald. The January amendment was made by Sen. Wilton Simpson.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez told the Herald through a spokesperson that he does not support county dollars going to the project.

Triple Five’s ambitious plans for the project include up to 3.5 million square feet of retail space, a 16-story indoor ski slope, a hotel with 2,000 rooms and a plethora of other attractions. The development firm, who also owns the Mall of America, has said it hopes to begin construction on American Dream Mall in 2016. [Miami Herald]Sean Stewart-Muniz

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