Twenty years ago, Miami Beach’s hotel market was sleepy enough that Miami-Dade County created a special taxing district aimed at revitalizing a “blighted area” that includes Lincoln Road and the oceanfront off 16th Street. Today, that land has gained about $4 billion in value, but elected leaders don’t want to declare victory just yet.
On Tuesday, Miami-Dade commissioners are set to vote on adding another 22 years to the “City Center” district in order to divert millions of dollars in county property taxes to the $590 million renovation of the Miami Beach Convention Center. The district currently gets about $16 million a year from the county fund that pays for police, parks and other core services, but leaders see the move as key to economic growth in the coming decades.
“One of the top priorities I’ve had is we need a new convention center,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said. “Tourism is still our No. 1 driver here.”
The deal negotiated by Gimenez and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine captures both sides of a debate over the districts known as Community Redevelopment Agencies.