CRAs need reform, report finds

Grand jury report slams Miami-Dade’s anti-blight tax districts

Miami Herald 2/4/16

A Miami-Dade grand jury report released Thursday slammed county taxing districts created to fight slum and blight, saying some appear to fund pet projects of elected officials and flirt with “slush fund” status while shunning desperate needs for affordable housing.

The report takes aim at districts called Community Redevelopment Agencies, which siphon property taxes from general services like police and transit in order to focus spending within their boundaries. While billed as anti-poverty initiatives, CRAs have been used to subsidize museums, concert halls and a production studio in downtown Miami, tapped to cover county cultural expenses as it pursued funding for Marlins Park, and enlisted for a string of neighborhood amenities.

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