The Miami-Dade Property Appraiser's Office is looking to collect $3,109 from North Bay Village Mayor Corina Esquijarosa. That is how much she owes in unpaid property taxes on a downtown Miami condo she claimed was her homestead. Following our report that Esquijarosa was getting a tax break on the condo during the entire time she has lived in North Bay Village, the appraiser's office notified her yesterday that it would place a lien on her Miami property if she doesn't pay what she owes in 30 days. The correspondence was sent to 1900 S. Treasure Dr., Apt 8A, in North Bay Village, which Esquijarosa lists as her primary address. The mayor did not return a message left on her cellphone voicemail.
State law allows the county to go after property owners who fail to remove their homestead exemption status for back taxes. In an earlier interview, Esquijarosa and her husband Manuel insisted they did not know they were supposed to tell the property appraiser they didn't live at the River Lofts Condo at 1021 NW Third St., Unit 102.
Esquijarosa also failed to disclose the property as an asset on her statement of financial interest, as well as a foreclosure judgement against her as a liability. She told us that it was an oversight on her part and that she had submitted an amended disclosure form to the North Bay Village city clerk two weeks ago. The mayor could also face inquiries by the Miami-Dade ethics commission and the state attorney's office. Residents from a group called Citizens for Full Disclosure of North Bay Village contacted both agencies accusing Esquijarosa of fraud.