Miami Survives Abolition Vote

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MIAMI: This impoverished city of 350,000 will live to see its 102nd birthday, thanks to Wednesday's vote against disbanding it despite a staggering $68 million deficit. But the argument for abolition that a declining tax base makes it impossible for the city to ever regain financial stability resonates throughout the nation. "Chicago; the District of Columbia; Bridgeport, Conn.: all of these cities face an evaporating tax base, says U.S. Conference of Mayors spokesman Mike Brown. "Stable families with working parents move out to the suburbs because they've lost confidence in inner-city schools."

Miami believe it has a trick up its sleeve to tackle this problem: A recent poll showed most city residents believe everybody should pay the local government for the privilege of being there even currently tax-exempt government agencies, and religious, educational and charitable groups, whose land comprises one third of all city property. Of course, if forced to pay taxes, those organizations, too, may seek refuge in suburbia.