While his constituents watch taxes rise and home values slide, Miami Springs Mayor Zavier Garcia has not paid property taxes and owes back taxes on his business.
Since Riptide posted a story last week that reported Garcia was in foreclosure, details of other fiscal indiscretions have emerged.
Since the foreclosure filing in 2009, Garcia's bank -- not Garcia -- has paid property taxes on his home to the tune of $16,952.29, records show. Banks sometimes pay property taxes on homes in foreclosure to protect their investment.
Garcia now owes $323,040.21 on the home he purchased in 2001 for
$167,000, records show.
"For the record, you are negligent in your lack of truth and facts, and have failed to properly research public records," Garcia said. "My home is current and up to date on payment of all property taxes. This has always been the case. I have never failed to pay my property taxes since owing my home in 2001."
During his 2011 campaign interview, Garcia said the biggest issue facing
the city -- located adjacent to Miami International Airport -- is its
"commercial versus residential tax base."
But Garcia's own business owes back taxes, too. Garcia is president of
Miami Springs-based ZMG Media Inc., or what he describes as a
"grassroots gorilla marketing" firm.
According to a tax lien filed in 2010 by the Florida Department of Tax
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Revenue, ZMG Media owes $1,803.41.
"My wife and I are at the brink of resolving this matter with our bank
and really don't feel that anything good could come from you doing so
[writing about it]," said Garcia last week via text message.