Opinion: Zika Likely to Depress Miami Real Estate Values

A Miami real estate lawyer warns that Zika may cause a “Stigma Effect” to Miami’s real estate prices.

MIAMI (August 4, 2016) – Miami’s trendy Wynwood neighborhood, which experienced a huge boom in property values over recent years, now faces a tremendous amount of fear and uncertainty as a result of the arrival of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

High rental rates didn’t deter businesses and restaurants from moving into the renewed Wynwood area over the past several years.  However, the recent discovery of mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus may now cause businesses to temporarily shut down, and deter locals and tourists from visiting the area.

If the risk of getting the Zika virus remains high for a longer period of time, businesses may be forced to close, which will depress overall real estate values.

This is something that should be considered by the Miami-Dade County Property Tax Appraiser.  When it comes to reducing property assessments in affected and surrounding areas.  This is a situation that is sometimes overlooked in arriving at assessed values, especially when it will result in lower tax revenues.

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), a non-partisan research and educational organization estimates that fewer than 5% of taxpayers challenge their assessments.

Taxpayers should be made aware that Florida provides mechanisms to challenge assessment for situations such as this one.

Barry Sharpe, who heads Miami-based Property Tax Appeal Group (P-TAG), says that most property owners don’t even think about appealing their property assessments.  This is something they should all now consider doing.

The County’s elected officials will also soon be facing a new problem.  If they do not receive federal aid very soon.  They may have to increase their property millage (tax) rate, to cover the costs of eradicating the mosquito problem.

As this is all new to this area it is too early to predict the full impact this condition will create.

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About Property Tax Appeal Group (P-TAG)

Property Tax Appeal Group provides expert and professional real estate ad valorem appeals on tax assessments in South Florida for various property classifications including retail centers, warehouses, apartments, condominiums, offices, hotels, residences and raw land. The principals of P-TAG include licensed “building” contractors, and real estate brokers, and are owners of a large portfolio of commercial properties in South Florida.

Photo by Speaker resources

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