Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Ousted

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade property appraiser Pedro J. Garcia will be looking for a new job Wednesday morning.

Garcia was challenged by Carlos Lopez-Cantera, the outgoing majority leader of the state House of Representatives.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Lopez-Cantera was leading with 51 percent of the vote to Garcia’s 49 percent.

Garcia became Miami-Dade’s first elected property appraiser four years ago. Prior to that, the position was appointed and not elected.

Since then, Garcia said he cut more than $60 billion off property values and is taking claim for a recent uptick in identifying homestead exemption fraud.

Lopez-Cantera slammed the incumbent for not including foreclosures in the tallying of countywide property values, and says the only reason Garcia is now going after the homestead-exemption fraud is because Lopez-Cantera raised the issue.

The appraiser’s office determines how much each of the county’s more than 890,000 properties, both commercial and residential, are worth.

The property appraiser’s office oversees a 371-person office with an annual budget of more than $30 million.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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