Not a ‘floating structure’ after all: County backs off taxing Star Island floating mansion
Miami-Dade County has backed off its fight to collect property taxes on a famous Miami Beach houseboat. The property appraiser’s office on Thursday agreed to drop its effort to declare the Arkup #1, a gleaming rectangle-shaped houseboat anchored off Miami Beach’s exclusive Star Island, a “floating structure.”
That means the boat’s owner won’t have to shell out a tax bill. “The County’s decision to withdraw the illegal tax is a major victory not only for our client — but for all boat owners in Florida.
The Arkup, built by a company with the same name, has been touted as a state-of-the-art eco-friendly houseboat that could serve as a model for more modest neighborhoods on the water and help ease the world’s housing crunch.
The Arkup is a boat, registered with the U.S. Coast Guard and can travel the seas at five knots per hour. It “has a means of self-locomotion and is equipped with the necessary equipment for boating, such as the required lighting, horns, radios, directional aids, and safety features,” according to a settlement agreement. So what turned the tide? During pretrial depositions, the three Property Appraiser reps basically agreed the Arkup was a boat…