Zika Virus May Affect Property Values in Parts of Miami

Zika Virus May Affect Property Values in Parts of Miami

Residential News » Miami Edition | By WPJ Staff | August 5, 2016 10:29 AM ET

Stigma Effect is an intangible, whether real or perceived
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 says Barry Sharpe, who heads Miami-based Property Tax Appeal Group.
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 aware that Florida does provide mechanisms to challenge assessment for situations such as this one.
Sharpe says, "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," concludes Sharpe.

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