Within the next 30 years — the same time span for a home mortgage — 64,000 homes in South Florida are expected to experience regular flooding, according to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
One out of every six of those homes are in Miami Beach.
This puts homeowners' investment at risk — a potential financial disaster for any household. But it also threatens an important source of money for local governments: property taxes.
Experts anticipate as much as two feet of sea-level rise in South Florida by 2060, perhaps six feet by 2100.
A report released this month also predicts thousands of commercial properties are at risk within the same time span.
"Once the market better reflects the value by including the risk of sea-level rise in those properties, then you’re not going to be able to get the same level of tax revenues that you were before," said Nicole Hernandez Hammer, a researcher and climate activist who consults with the Union of Concerned Scientists.
"And those are tax revenues that you would use for schools and for emergency services."
This week on the Florida Roundup, Tom Hudson discussed this with the editorial page editors for the Miami Herald, The Sun-Sentinel and The Palm Beach Post and WLRN reporter Kate Stein.