Miami-Dade County May Refund $1 Million In Rent To Airport Shops After Hurricane Irma

by MR Magazine Staff

Retailers at Miami International Airport won’t get the year-long rent break they wanted from Miami-Dade County as relief from Hurricane Irma. Instead, Mayor Carlos Gimenez wants to waive rent for the five days when the airport was either closed or partially idled by the Sept. 10 storm, a rebate worth about $1.1 million. Miami-Dade commissioners must decide the issue, and at least one sounded wary Tuesday about how taxpayers would react to the county-owned airport providing storm relief to a tiny subset of businesses with the ability to ask for aid from the elected officials. “We’re going to have Miami-Dade residents here next week asking for relief from their taxes,” Commissioner Rebeca Sosa said during a committee hearing on MIA retail leases and the rent the vendors pay. “How do I explain to them they don’t get any relief?” Airport contracts include provisions allowing for rent breaks if MIA closes due to disasters and other one-time events. But the comment touched on the tension hovering over the meeting, which saw Gimenez unveil a dramatic reworking of how Miami-Dade will manage the shops, restaurants, bars, kiosks and other retail outlets that generate nearly $200 million a year in revenue for the airport. Read more at Miami Herald.