• U.S.

Americana: Run-of-the-Mill Revolt

1 minute read

Retired Burger King Executive Harry Wilson formed the Dade Tax Revolt Committee in Miami last fall and set out to halve the county property tax rate, to $4 per $1,000 of assessed value. He gathered 15,000 signatures to put the proposition on the ballot next month. But the best laid schemes of tax revolutionaries gang aft agley. Because of a whopper of an error, Wilson’s petition stated the proposed new rate as 4 mills per $1,000, meaning, for example, that the tax on a $100,000 house would be only 40¢, rather than the $400 that he intended.

County officials hope the mistake will work in their favor, on the somewhat shaky grounds that the absurdity of Proposition .004 will defeat it. Taxcutter Wilson, feeling a bit as though he had been put through the mill, twice asked the courts to allow people to vote on what he meant and not on what he said, and was turned down both times by judges who reasoned that the people knew what they were signing.

The election will cost $400,000, which is more than quadruple the county’s entire projected property tax revenues if the cut passes. All of which comes from making a mountain out of a whole mill.

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