Economic Impact of Installing High Voltage Power Lines in South Florida
The cost to residents affected by the proposed power line changes would add 48% to the average family’s monthly electric bill. In fact, FPL is already charging residents for planning, engineering, lobbying, promoting, and litigating for this project. Even if FPL overcharges or never completes this project the money will never be refunded.
Survey studies have been done by realtors and academic advisors with no ties to the power industry and have reported that values decline in the range of 10-13% on average within sight of transmission lines and poles. South Miami’s economy and property values benefit from upscale economic development in adjacent cities- Coral Gables to the North, and Pinecrest to the South. Any economic harm that new transmission lines might cause the neighboring municipalities will have the potential to spill over and harm economic activity and land value in South Miami. One specific example worth mentioning is South Miami’s Transit Oriented Development District (TODD). While occupying only 10% of a 2.5 mile city, TODD generates 45% of the City’s $16.2 million in annual municipal revenue.
A loss in real estate value equates to a loss in jobs and annual worker’s wages which would ultimately impact tax revenue and municipal services. The projected loss of jobs from FPL’s proposed transmission corridor would translate to approximately $300 million in annual worker’s wages across the County. The lost wages from the City of South Miami alone would be $21.6 million. Current high rates of unemployment coupled with the decline in economic activity that would be caused by the addition of transmission lines would negate the possibility of tax increase to compensate for the loss of municipal revenue.
The permanent presences of transmission lines would handicap future attempts at revitalization and growth. Transmission lines will run during the economic hearth of the city of South Miami and east of Dadeland Mall. Much of this route has little or existing powerlines but were proposed because of projected demands that were never realized. These projections were computed prior to real estate value decline. Since FPL’S needs assessment, property values have already declined by 45% due to general economic conditions. Consequently, demands for electricity have already been stalled.
Economic effect on the new transmission line creation has been measured, and the drive for upscale commercial development and housing is threatened by the imposition of high voltage transmission lines that handicap future attempts at future revitalization.
In these economic times, city budgets have already been cut. Anything that threatens to hard the city’s business district would cause municipal services to decrease and taxes to rise. Cuts to services such as police protection, trash pickup, recreation and parks would impact the quality of life. Strides that South Miami has made to encourage pedestrian friendly streets and outdoor activities cannot thrive under high-voltage transmission lines