County says Raquel Regalado owes almost $4,000 in unpaid property taxes and fines

Raquel Regalado
Raquel Regalado

Miami-Dade County candidate for mayor Raquel Regalado faces a demand for almost $4,000 in delinquent property taxes and fines due to illegitimate homestead exemptions.

The county’s Property Appraiser Office wrote a letter last week to Regalado, a two-term member of the Miami-Dade school board, demanding she pay $3,981.78 to keep the county from putting a lien on a Miami house that she and her brother Jose co-own.

Blogger Al Crespo, who monitors government and politics in Miami, disclosed the county appraiser’s August 5 letter, which stemmed from Crespo’s investigatory report in July on Regalado’s continuing claims for homestead exemptions on the Miami house after she stopped living there.

She shared the house with her ex-husband before they divorced in 2008, then took full ownership of the house and continued claiming a $50,000 homestead exemption after she moved to another residence in 2012.

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In 2011, Regalado stopped repaying a mortgage secured by the house in the 1700 block of Southwest 15 Street to pay for therapy for a daughter with autism. She told the Herald no one lived in the house after she moved out in 2012.

In an interview, Regalado told the Miami Herald the situation arose from a “messy divorce” and she considered the homestead exemption proper because she did not claim another homestead exemption for another property.

She told the newspaper, “I did nothing wrong. It was really about the divorce settlement.”

The delinquent tax claim is further evidence that Regalado is unprepared to serve as county mayor, according to the campaign of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez. [Miami Herald] — Mike Seemuth