Our state representative Chip LaMarca provides an overview summary of all the legislation passed in 2021 by the Florida Legislature. He is now beginning to prepare for legislative committee weeks throughout the remainder of the year and prepare for the 2022 legislative session in January. The highlights from the 2021 legislative session include a monumental $101.5 billion budget, which includes a significant amount of Federal COVID-19 Relief funding. The budget leaves a historic $6 billion in reserves to ensure that Florida is always prepared for a better tomorrow.
In a newsletter from our Broward County Property Appraiser Marty Kiar, he shares important information for US military personnel. Those deployed overseas on specified military operations may be entitled to an additional tax-saving exemption. These qualifying military operations are updated by the Florida Legislature annually, so the ones listed below may not be all encompassing as some operations may be added or removed in future years. The Property Appraiser’s office does accept pre-filing for upcoming tax year(s) depending on the dates included on the applicant’s military orders and the application permits a spouse, personal representative or designee under Chapter 709, Florida Statutes, to apply on behalf of the qualifying applicant.
Our Broward County Commissioner Lamar Fisher’s newsletter contains a wealth of information important to all residents of the Galt. The newsletter provides updated information on COVID hospitalizations and a dashboard link to check the daily status. He also talks about the redrawing of county commissioner district lines based on census data and the new proposed commuter rail project. The newsletter references the Condominium Structural Committee proceedings and Lauderdale By The Sea mitigation reefs. And there’s even more information.
Vice Mayor Moraitis toured the Full Sail University Orlando Health Fortress–home to the largest collegiate esports arena in the country, to learn more about the university and its tremendous impact within the esports landscape. There is no doubt esports is a rapidly growing industry, with numerous recreational opportunities for all ages. Providing recreation and a place of belonging is integral to a thriving community and I believe building a 15,000 square foot esports arena, holding about 500 people, on the second floor of the proposed community center at Lockhart Park, is the right fit for our city.
The office of Broward County Property Appraiser Marty Kiar recently mailed over 776,000 TRIM (proposed tax) Notices to Broward County property owners. Florida law requires the property appraiser to assess every parcel of real and tangible personal property in Broward County as of January 1, 2021. The 2021 just values are based on the 2020 market data. The TRIM Notice you received shows your 2021 just value, exemptions you are receiving, and the proposed tax amounts as set by the various taxing authorities listed on the notice. It is important to remember the Property Appraiser’s Office does not set or collect taxes.
If you believe you are entitled to a Homestead Exemption or any other exemptions not shown on your TRIM Notice, you may still late file for any 2021 exemption until September 20, 2021. For a list of all the available tax-saving exemptions and to apply for exemptions online, please visit our website at https://web.bcpa.net/bcpaclient/#/Homestead or call us at 954-357-6830.
Broward County Commissioner Lamar Fisher represents most of the coastal communities in Broward County (including the Galt Mile), from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale. “The day of the tragedy at Surfside, all I could think about are all our amazing condos along the beach and while my heart has been heavy for weeks, I checked in on several condo associations.” Many questions remain unanswered, but his newsletter provides a quick overview of Broward County’s Building Safety Inspection Program. Commissioner Fisher also updates us on the major county projects underway: the Convention Center Renovation and Headquarter Hotel, and the Joint Government Center Campus.
Vice Mayor Moraitis, in her July newsletter, talks about her efforts to provide an easier way for owners to get relief from water/sewer bills that suddenly spike up in one month. While this is more applicable to single family homes, it does apply to associations, who sometimes see a big spike in their water/sewer consumption without explanation. For us, this is thousands of dollars in unexplained costs.
The Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office mails the TRIM (proposed tax) Notices in August of each year. This is NOT a tax bill but a notice showing your 2021 just value, exemptions and proposed taxes as set by the various taxing authorities. The TRIM Notice is your opportunity to review your property’s 2021 just value and ensure you are receiving all the tax-saving exemptions you are entitled to.
Commissioner Fisher (our county commissioner) provides some excellent information in his June Newsletter that is of interest to all members of the Galt Mile community. He provides us an update on the COVID vaccination sites and insights into the proposed county budget, with his emphasis on affordable housing, homelessness, traffic improvements and funding for the Animal Care Center. The newsletter also provides updates on Hurricane preparedness and important resources on hurricane information and flooding.
June 1 is the official first day of the new hurricane season for 2021. You have 6 days left to do your hurricane shopping without a sales tax on certain items (until June 6).
Good News and Bad News: NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020. Based on the latest update, an average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which 7 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes. Last year’s record-breaking season serves as a reminder to all residents in coastal regions or areas prone to inland flooding from rainfall to be prepared for the 2021 hurricane season.
A few resources for the hurricane season are as follows.
broward.org/hurricane – resources for residents including evacuation and shelter information
Broward evacuation routes – for evacuations
Broward Hurricane preparedness guide – including shelter information
fema.gov – information about disaster relief
Florida FEMA – state information
Evacuation zones across Florida
National hurricane tracker – great mobile app to track the hurricanes
Associations have hurricane preparedness plans in place. Make sure you know what to do before, during and after a hurricane. A Hurricane Watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 48 hours. Monitor local media for hurricane progress reports. Review your evacuation plan if a mandatory evacuation is ordered for the Barrier Island. Make sure your route is accessible as some roads may be closed or blocked.
Be prepared. Be safe.