More suits expected as real estate values take a hit due to coronavirus
By Keith Larsen and Jerome Dineen, The Real Deal MIAMI | July 15, 2020
Affiliates of megamall developer Triple Five, along with Terra and Starwood Capital Group are crying foul over property tax bills from Miami-Dade County.
A number of developers and investment groups have recently filed lawsuits against Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Pedro J. Garcia for their tax appraisals for the 2019 tax year. Others include the owners of Aventura ParkSquare, the SunTrust office building on Brickell and the Delano South Beach.
The latest suits come as Miami-Dade issued preliminary taxable values for 2020 earlier this month, based on assessments and market conditions on Jan. 1. More such suits could arise, as businesses continue to lose money and commercial real estate values fall due to impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
“A litigation showdown is looming between property owners and the government over property taxes,” said attorney Josh Migdal, a partner at the Miami law firm Mark Migdal & Hayden, who handles real estate cases.
“Property owners are faced with budget shortfalls due to decreased revenue,” Migdal added. “However, a decrease in tax revenue collection due to the virus will require the government to maximize its property tax collection to prevent its own budget shortfall.”
Overall, preliminary property tax values across Miami-Dade County rose in 2020 compared to the previous year. The estimated taxable value for Miami-Dade County properties totaled $324.36 million, up 5.1 percent from 2019, according to the property appraiser’s office.
The biggest increases were in West Miami (14.6 percent); Florida City (13.8 percent); Homestead (10.8 percent); Hialeah and North Miami (each up 10.4 percent). Much of the boost in appraised value is due to new construction, the property appraiser’s report shows.
Yet, the property appraiser’s office said falling prices for condos properties in Bal Harbour, North Bay Village, Key Biscayne and Aventura will have a negative impact on property taxes in 2020. It also says that coronavirus is starting to impact commercial real estate values.