Local residents among highest taxed on homes
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.