We have yet to see any Palmetto Bay officials public release any financial projections, both overall as well as just how dependent the Downtown Redevelopment Task Force (DRTF) is on annexing land bordering the west side of US1. (See photo below for a rendering, with the present municipal boundary marked in redline).
The current Palmetto Bay mayor and council need to be very cautious when spending significant financial reserves on projections dependent upon annexing commercial land. Annexations are never easy, nor is the result guaranteed. Not all revenue from annexed lands come to the annexing cities. Annexation rules include the loss of franchise fees, a substantial source of revenue. And the door is presently closed on annexations. The Miami-Dade Commission Land Use and Development Committee denied 4 annexation requests back on Thursday, October 10, 2013. Some these applications were ten years in the making. I am pointing out this information for those Palmetto Bay elected officials who think that they can quickly grow the tax base through annexation of commercial areas. Read up on how the County won't give up valuable land to four tax hungry cities:
A deal 10 years in the making to divvy up about eight square miles of mostly industrial and commercial land in northwest Miami-Dade County among four cities blew up Thursday when a group of county commissioners blocked it.
For the cities, the decision of the commission’s land use and development committee represents a loss of millions of dollars in potential tax revenues that would have boosted their coffers.
“We have been patient and working with the county,” Medley Mayor Robert Martell said.
The debate underscored a big question facing the county: whether it should force all of its unincorporated areas to form new cities or join existing ones so the county can focus on regional matters, as neighboring Broward County does.
For now, some commissioners are loath to accept applications without a countywide plan in place.
“To me, all of these are premature,” Commissioner Barbara Jordan said.
Last year, voters amended the county charter to require commissioners to consider if annexations of commercial land were intended to merely bolster a city’s tax base. Similar annexations in the past have been criticized as blatant land grabs.
County rules don’t allow the proposals to come up again for at least six months.
What this means: The above should be a shot of realism to this current Palmetto Bay Mayor and council; that they need to budget within our present revenue structure. Don't add to recurring expenses and spend down reserves in advance based upon speculative aggressive projections. These 4 cities are now back to square one - and without any new revenue. But these same cities are left holding the costs to date for the planning, applying and proceeding on the annexation applications.