Close to 200 Miami-based “assisted living” communities have been accused of skirting property taxes according to a Miami Herald report.
Those accused by the Miami-Dade Property Appraisers’ Office issued $1.7 million in tax liens for claiming homestead exemptions when they were not actually entitled to those exemptions, the report states.
“Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Miami-Dade’s property appraiser, said he came up with the idea of comparing homesteaded properties against ALFs licensed by the state after receiving many complaints about the homes from constituents while he was representing Miami in the state House of Representatives,” the Miami Herald writes. “To test his theory, the office looked at a handful of the properties, and, Lopez-Cantera said, found that a large number of them were homesteaded — meaning the homeowners were asserting that the properties were their place of residence. Instead, they were licensed by the state to provide care to frail elders and disabled people.”
Lopez-Cantera told the publication that because those properties less than they should have, it raised the tax burden on other area property owners.
“While these facilities provide important services, they cannot be allowed to ignore the law to the detriment of others,” he told the Herald.
The report names several of the accused “assisted living facilities” including some with just a handful of beds.
The same publication two years ago published an investigative report on cases of abuse and neglect found in the areas so-called assisted living communities, which raised questions as to which communities were being classified as “ALFs.” The publication refers not just to senior-based assisted living communities but also those that serve patients suffering from mental illness or other disabilities in its definition.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker