Yahoo! News ran an article this evening on the exodus taking place in Florida, a state that had all the pieces in place for economic growth across the board, including real estate. For the first time in 63 years there is an exodus of people from the state, and while it is not huge numbers, I think it is enough that our Lake Powell area elected officials should take note of Florida.
So what has gone on in Florida?
- A dozen or so top aides just received large salary increases, at the same time the Mayor of Miami-Dade Country raised property taxes.
- Hurricane insurance, already huge, were just raised again by the STATE run hurricane insurer.
- South Florida’s public electric utility just utilized numerous highly paid lobbyists to push for a steep hike in electric rates
- Homeowners, especially in Broward and Miami-Dade county have seen property-tax increases of 15% or more.
- Real estate values have fallen 25% in some of these same areas.
- The Miami Dade Mayor raised some of his top aides salaries 15% while calling for a 5% pay cut for county workers.
Add to the mix Miamis high cost of living, including real estate, compared to the relatively low income and you have middle income people pulling up stakes and leaving.
Over the past several years Kane County, Utah increased property taxes across the board, with very little numerical backing for the decision, causing some 700 residents to appeal their values last year. Some of those were corrected this year, but others were not.
The Page Lake Powell Big Water Kane County area is recreational based with many living at or below the poverty levels. Our elected officials in Page, Arizona and Coconino County as well as Big Water, Utah and Kane County should be well aware of what is going on in Florida and work to ensure the same mistakes are not made here.
One thing the recession seems to have accomplished is make folks more aware of where there dollars are going.