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Friday, August 5, 2016

How will the Zika Virus Will Affect Property Values in Miami

Stigma Effect—is an intangible, whether real or perceived

MIAMI (August 4, 2016) – The presence of Zika in Wynwood will result in a reduction of property values and its surrounding areas.  The biggest issue is how long will this fear remain and will it result in a “Stigma” being placed on the area due to “fear and uncertainty.”


Wynwood has seen property values sky-rocket within recent years.  It has become the place to see and be seen.  That is until now, recently Wynwood has become the Hot Zone in the US for the Zyka outbreak.  Now when people are deciding which trendy restaurant to go out to, they fear Wynwood.  

If people do not go to restaurants or stores, there will be a drop in their revenues. This will result in a lower demand for rentals and purchases.  We have already seen some outdoor restaurants close temporarily and tours have halted visiting the area.  Tenants in that area will not be able to pay rent, building owners will have to give concessions hoping this stigma will go away and tenants will be able to thrive again.  What if it does not go away?  Will the popular Wynwood area die out just as it has become the place to be?

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 made aware that Florida provides mechanisms to challenge assessment for situations such as this one.

Barry Sharpe, who heads Miami-based Property Tax Appeal Group (P-TAG), says that 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.

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