Lo­cal res­i­dents among high­est taxed on homes

Palm Beach Daily News - - BUSINESS - By JEFF OSTROWSKI

De­spite Palm Beach County’s wealth of ocean­front man­sions and valu­able com­mer­cial real es­tate, its home­own­ers pay among the high­est prop­erty tax rates for Florida’s medium and large coun­ties, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased Thurs­day by AT­TOM Data So­lu­tions.

The anal­y­sis says Palm Beach County and its tax­ing bod­ies im­posed a prop­erty tax rate of 1.26 per­cent on sin­gle-fam­ily homes in 2017. That rate was third-high­est among Florida’s 43 largest coun­ties. Only Alachua County’s 1.35 per­cent and St. Lu­cie County’s 1.32 per­cent were higher. Wal­ton County’s 0.69 per­cent was the low­est.

Na­tion­ally, the ef­fec­tive prop­erty tax rate was 1.17 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to AT­TOM Data So­lu­tions, a real es­tate re­search firm in Irvine, Calif.

While most Palm Beach County tax­pay­ers pay a rate of about 2 per­cent on the tax­able value of their homes, the ef­fec­tive rate re­moves the ef­fect of homestead ex­emp­tions and the cap on value in­creases im­posed by Save Our Homes and other mea­sures. To cal­cu­late the ef­fec­tive tax rate, AT­TOM looked at the es­ti­mated value of homes be­fore those re­duc­tions in tax­able value. Palm Beach County tax­pay­ers may not be ac­cus­tomed to see­ing their prop­erty tax rates ex­pressed as a sim­ple per­cent­age, since prop­erty tax bills ar­rive in the form of an amount owed per $1,000 of tax­able value.

Among county mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, prop­erty tax rates range from a low of $16.66 per $1,000, or 1.67 per­cent, in the Town of Palm Beach to a high of $24.04, or 2.4 per­cent, in Belle Glade, Briny Breezes and Pa­ho­kee. All three mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have com­par­a­tively low prop­erty val­ues, which am­pli­fies the value of the homestead ex­emp­tion and pushes the ef­fec­tive tax rate be­low 2.4 per­cent for many home­own­ers. Most res­i­dents in un­in­cor­po­rated Palm Beach County pay $17.50 per $1,000, or 1.75 per­cent. Most home­own­ers in West Palm Beach pay $21.95 per $1,000, or just un­der 2.2 per­cent.

Lake Worth taxes prop­erty own­ers at a rate of $23.16 per $1,000, or 2.32 per­cent, one of the high­est rates in the county. In Palm Beach County, prop­erty tax bills in­clude levies from the county, the School Board, Chil­dren’s Ser­vices Council, Health Care District and the South Florida Wa­ter Man­age­ment District, plus lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

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