A surefire sixteen-point plan to put the city of Miami back in the black
Jeez, some people misplace a few million bucks and they get all hyper. Ever since Acting Miami City Manager Merrett Stierheim revealed that the city's supposedly balanced budget was actually short by as much as $70 million, stunned officials have been scrambling to erase the deficit.
In so doing, commissioners revealed themselves to be creatively as bankrupt as the city coffers. Oh sure, they proffered the usual cut-services, lay-off-the-peons cliches, but what else? Only a ten-dollar-a-month tax on people who work downtown but who live in other, better-run communities. (Memo to the commission: Not gonna happen, fellas.)
What the commissioners need to do is better exploit the city's available resources. Miami is chock full of assets they can easily convert into cold cash; all it takes is a little ingenuity. Depending on the availability of the Miami Arena (and perhaps on the street value of cocaine), there is enough money out there to provide a healthy surplus. Relax, everybody.
1. A bungee-jumping concession at historic (and conveniently empty) Freedom Tower.
estimated value: $80,000
2. Sell the city's naming rights to the Fruit of the Loom company. estimated value: $20 million per year
3. Liquidate the city's supply of seized narcotics.
estimated value: market price
4. Contribute illegal kickbacks directly to the general fund.
estimated value: at least $200,000
5. The First Annual City of Miami Telethon, hosted by Rick Sanchez on WSVN. The highlight: Sanchez singing "You'll Never Walk Alone." Every city employee becomes known as one of Rick's Kids. Contribution jars sprout up in 7-Elevens and La Carreta restaurants.
estimated value: $15 million
6. Sell cassettes and publish a New York Times best-selling transcription of The Surana Tapes, featuring disgraced former finance director Manohar Surana.
estimated value: $3 million
7. Open city commission kissing booth and charge $5 a pop
estimated value: $15
8. Rent traffic signs to perennial city commission candidates.
estimated value: $300,000
9. Rent out the Miami Arena for foam parties.
estimated value: $500,000
10. Sell naming rights for the Orange Bowl to the Robbie family.
estimated value: $20 million
11. MIAMI AID: A concert to benefit the City of Miami. Performers include Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Jon Secada, Nestor Torres, the Magic City Loungers, and Philip Michael Thomas.
estimated value: $115 million
12. Turn historic, laid-back Coconut Grove into a concrete amusement park with movie theaters, a Hooters restaurant, and a catchy name. Perhaps CocoStroll.
estimated value: $1 million
13. Charge admission to a youth politics and sports festival called Punt, Pass, and Kickback.
estimated value: $35,000
14. Have Jellybean Benitez remix the city song "My, My, My MI AM I" as a dance-hall hit. Collect royalties.
estimated value: ten cents a record
15. Host the "How Can I Be Down?" convention.
estimated value: $500,000 after damages
16. Annex Dade County.
estimated value: $1 billion
If the city must tax, then let's not tax hardworking commuters. Let's tax somebody else:
Slap a "world class" tax on Pat Riley.
estimated value:$165 million
Implement a citywide Artistic Expression Intolerance tax.
Levy a $1 tax on all handguns sold within the city limits.
estimated value:$65 million
Demand a percentage of the NFL salaries of Warren Sapp, Michael Irvin, and anyone else who played football at the University of Miami.
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estimated value:$10 million
Tax any and all newborns named Lourdes Maria.
Extract a "voluntary" tax on all Whoppers sold by corporate citizen Burger King by threatening to declare McDonald's Arch Deluxe the official city burger with the grown-up taste.