From the MH Post:
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez won’t veto a higher property tax rate ceiling for libraries set by county commissioners.
Mike Hernández, Gimenez’s spokesman, said Friday that the mayor decided to let the commission’s 8-5 vote from last week stand, even though that means the county’s overall tax rate could go against Gimenez’s wishes.
“He will continue to insist that Miami-Dade County government — and our library system — operate as efficiently as possible,” Hernández said.
From the Miami Herald:
Miami-Dade County commissioners voted Tuesday night to slightly raise the property-tax rate ceiling to avert library layoffs. But the increase won’t protect police, transit and other public services facing budget cuts.
Patricia Gormley, a lawyer and leading organizer of a library-funding campaign, greeted the vote with a mixed verdict.
“We are obviously happy that nobody [in libraries] will be laid off,” said Gormley, whose husband works in the library system. “But the ability to provide enhanced services at the library is still limited. All we did is save the jobs.”
Libraries aside, commissioners adopted the other tax rates proposed by Mayor Carlos Gimenez, which had been designed to keep the overall rate flat while giving a funding boost to libraries. Now Gimenez will have to decide whether to veto the commission’s 8-5 decision to boost the library tax higher than he recommended.
Fear of cuts drew more than 100 people to county hall who urged commissioners for more than three hours to raise the tax rate — called the “millage” — despite Gimenez’s potential veto.
“Please raise my millage,” said Justin Wales, a recent homebuyer advocating for more library funds. “I want to pay more money.”
Speaker after speaker praised the library system as a haven for children, seniors and the unemployed, who rely on librarian assistance to write résumés and apply for new jobs.
Librarian Ellen Book brought a cart full of children’s books for the 13 commissioners. “The age of the physical book is far from over,” Book said as commissioners perused the offerings, including pop-up books on baby dinosaurs and race cars.
Without the higher library rate, Gimenez’s budget would have eliminated 90 library positions..
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