Item Coversheet

New Business and Commission Requests - R9  A


TO:Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission 
FROM:Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager 
DATE:March  25, 2020



As a result of the health concerns related to the global pandemic resulting from a novel corona virus (COVID-19) the City of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County and the State of Florida have issued emergency declarations.  Following the emergency declaration on March 12, 2020 the City of Miami Beach has issued numerous emergency orders to help keep the residents and visitors in the City safe.  The order of March 20, 2020 directed the closing of all commercial lodging establishments effective 11:59 pm on March 23, 2020.  Early morning on March 23, 2020 the City Administration received the attached proposal from UNITE HERE and HEAT Inc for a relief and recovery program offered by the two groups working collectively.  The specific request is for a $200,000 commitment from the City of Miami Beach to the proposal in hopes of reaching their target of $2M. 


The approximately $2M program presented is a combination of case management for up to 2,500 workers and financial assistance for up to 1,000 workers in hardship conditions.  The attached spreadsheet breaks down the cost.  Approximately 15% of the total program will address administrative costs of these services while the remainder will go to direct assistance.

Nevertheless, due to COVID-19, we are experiencing dramatic impacts to our Resort Tax, Parking, and General Fund revenues.  Cumulative revenue losses in these three funds total approximately $2.9 million per week.  We expect these losses to continue over the upcoming weeks and months until the COVID-19 emergency is behind us.  Like many cities across the country, we will be requesting an infusion of funding from the State and Federal Governments to help offset these dramatic revenue losses that are critical to providing continued services during this time. At this point, of course, there is no assurance if and when such funding will materialize. 

Similarly the State and Federal Governments are working on legislation that will assist the workers that are being hit hard by this economic shutdown to slow the spread of the virus.   Some of the provisions of the Federal legislation currently on the floor of the Senate include the following:

·  Direct payment to qualified Americans of up to $1,200

o    Married couples could get $2,400

o   Taxpayers who earn more than $75,000 annually will begin to see that payment reduced by $5 for every $100 they earn over the $75,000 threshold, with those who make more than  $99,000 getting nothing

o    Families with children would get $500 per child

·  Delays filing deadline for tax returns

o    Extends the April 15 filing date to July 15

·  Retirements funds

o    Waives penalties for early withdrawal from qualified retirement accounts for coronavirus-related purpose of up to $100,000

·  Education loans

o    Enables the Secretary of Education to defer student loan payments

o    Allows students who were forced to drop out of school due to coronavirus to keep their Pell grants

Gives colleges and universities flexibility to continue work-study payments to students who cannot work due to coronavirus closures


The City acknowledges that many sectors of our business community and their employees are experiencing catastrophic losses due to COVID-19.  However, there are several community partners reaching out to obtain funding for recovery efforts and the City has dedicated staff to assist businesses and individuals in accessing State and Federal Government relief.  It is difficult, however, to commit City financial resources given our own needs and the loss of city revenues.  If the City Commission is inclined to provide some support, we would recommend to only make 30-day commitments under their proposed schedule and only if there is active participation by other municipal, private and non-profit partners. 

Applicable Area

Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14? Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?
Yes No 
Legislative Tracking
Office of the City Manager

Program Proposal
HEAT Budget