Letter from the President, Jerry Libbin

Miami's Community Newspapers

We wanted to make you aware of a resolution that was proposed at a recent City of Miami Beach Commission meeting. Elected officials are calling for a ballot question to be proposed for the November election that asks whether the City should adopt a resolution urging the Florida legislature to amend Florida statutes to allow for the collection of a 1% homeless and domestic violence tax at restaurants within the City of Miami Beach to assist homeless persons and victims of domestic violence.


As a Chamber, we do understand that homelessness is a problem within our City that is an ongoing problem for businesses throughout our community. However, we are opposed to having the restaurants forced to charge an additional 1% tax to support the homeless in Miami Beach.  Additionally, we do not support having a ballot question that asks if the residents would like for someone else to pay to address the homeless issue either. The Chamber’s Board did not feel that our restauranteurs should be singled out to as the only businesses required to support this tax which will make them less competitive with other restaurants in Miami-Dade.


We do not have an issue and would support the commission if they were to find alternate sources of funds from our General Fund, and or resort taxes to help address the problem of homelessness.


On another note, we are honored that the commission recognized the Chamber for our ongoing support and commitment to the City’s mental health initiative. Like we previously announced in the last issue of the newspaper, the Chamber helped raise the necessary funds to secure a mental health professional at Miami Beach Senior High. Boosting resources and expanding student access, the Miami Beach mental health initiative is focused on continually investing in our youth securing the future of Miami Beach by ensuring a child’s right to learn without obstacles.  The Chamber, through its Education Foundation, has raised thousands of dollars to support public education in Miami Beach and is proud of its partnership with the City of Miami Beach.


If you want more information on the Chamber and/or its Education Foundation, please contact us at 305-674-1300.




Jerry Libbin



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  1. I am not supportive of this tax increase. The town cwnter improvement is an investment in infeastructure which i support. This doesn’t mean every idea we get is justification for another tax increase.

    We want to reduce taxes and incentivize business, not discoueage them.

  2. I am in favor of the referendum & the 1%tax. Our homeless need help&those of us able to eat out should contribute. One penny on a dollar is so little.

  3. I own a hotel on South Beach since 1977. At that time the City of Miami Beach charged 4% tax to my hotel guest.We charged as little as $14 per night.Now our average rate is approximately $180 and guest pay 14% in taxes. Where is all the monies going? I know we have a serious problem with the homeless and got to deal with it,but where is the accountability.

  4. Homelessness is a serious issue that needs to be addressed for both the community and the needs of the homeless individuals. People are homeless for a wide variety of issues. Nonetheless, Miami Beach does not need to single out the restaurants community to pay for this problem. Miami Beach should be a wealthy city that should not need to be “creative” with charging additional “fees” and taxes to pay for every new project. The Politicians seems to always look for new ways to charge “fees” and taxes instead of living in their budget. One good explain are Rental Car “Fees” which at times of 50% to the bill. Restaurants are just the latest low hanging fruit to tax. With the record number of tourist in Miami Beach this past year, where does all that tax revenue go?


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