By Bobeth Yates

BISCAYNE GARDENS (CBSMiami) – On November 2, residents in unincorporated Biscayne Gardens will head to the polls to cast a ballot on whether the area should become its own city.

Opponents of the measure worry about increased taxes, but supporters say they have been forgotten and this is the only way to get the services they are lacking.

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“You don’t see this in Aventura Lakes, you don’t see this in Miami Lakes, you’re not gonna see this in Cutler Bay or Palmetto Bay,” said Bernard WH Jennings, the chair of the Biscayne Gardens Incorporation Committee.

Jennings added there’s a lack of many services in the community.

“When you travel throughout Biscayne Gardens you realize we’re almost akin to a third world country, we’re overlooked. You realize the streets are not paved properly,  the curbs are not taken care of, there are no lines in the streets, even the homeowners aren’t on the same decorative level when compared to other areas, and the business plazas their very bad shape,” said Jennings.

And those aren’t his only complaints

“We don’t have any anchor businesses. There are no restaurants in Biscayne Gardens, they’re only three restaurants in Biscayne Gardens that you can actually sit down in. We don’t have a local grocery store. We only have one grocery to serve 34,000 people and we can do better,” said Jennings, who believes doing better means turning the 5 square miles of unincorporated Miami-Dade County into its own city.

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Biscayne Gardens residents, like Elizabeth Judd, support the measure and believe becoming a city will help provide more local services for the about 35,000 people who live in the area.

“In Biscayne Gardens we’re not receiving what we pay, we’re a community that pays attention and we participate on a county level but we do not get a cooperative response,” said Judd.

But there is a lot of opposition to making Biscayne Gardens its own city.

“There’s nothing that really can be gained by becoming a city other than a higher tax bill,” said Bruce Lamberto, a Biscayne Gardens resident.

According to incorporation documents, the tax bill would increase on average by $145 a year per home.

“It’s not a really rich area and a lot of the people here can’t afford higher taxes on their homes,” added Lamberto.

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50 plus 1%  of the votes cast must be in support for the measure to be approved.