In the midst of the structural issues with the Venetian bridges, and the news the Miami-Biscayne Island span will close for demolition and reconstruction in a few months comes this news:
Miami-Dade has stopped collecting the $24 administrative fee charged Venetian Island property owners for their toll transponders.
This decision is not related to the bridge issues, says Miami-Dade County Causeways Division Chief Mike Bauman. Rather, it’s due to ongoing litigation over the $24 fee, he said.
The Venetian was originally built by a private developer, and the legal agreement transferring the roadway and bridges it to the county included language that required it be free to property owners on the Venetian Islands.
The county has been charging the $24 fee property owners for years. In March, property owners were sent forms to renew their transponders and pay the annual $24, with an April 30 deadline.
Many have already paid the renewal fee, but the majority have not, Bauman said. The county stopped collecting it today.
“We’ve been advised to stop charging the $24. I cannot say anything about that because of the litigation,” Bauman said. “I am seeking further direction on what to do about those that have paid.”
The waiver does not apply to renters on the Venetian Islands, or people who use the C-Pass transponders and work on one of the islands.
The Venetian is supposed to switch to SunPass starting this summer, though that is likely to be delayed because of the Venetian west bridge construction.
Venetian property owners’ SunPass devices will be coded so they are not charged tolls for passing through the Venetian toll booths.