Although the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the state in many ways, Palm Beach County’s real estate market has remained active this summer. With unprecedented sales continuing in the luxury sector, buyers are paying top dollar for estates in communities such as the Town of Palm Beach and West Palm Beach. As values continue to rise in the area, owners may be asking: Are Palm Beach Property Taxes Likely to Go Up Next Year?
Palm Beach County Property Taxes
Recently, the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s office released information that could give taxpayers an idea of their 2020 tax totals. Notices went out on August 20, and according to Florida law, the tax rolls must be finalized by November 1. With property values up in the Town of Palm Beach, property owners may have been dreading their tax notices this month. However, according to the agency’s preliminary tax roll figures, Palm Beach property owners may be in for a pleasant surprise.
According to the assessor’s preliminary numbers, the Town of Palm Beach’s total market value of residential, commercial, and other real estate reached $24.7 billion. If the information that resulted in these calculations remains unchanged, Palm Beach property owners could pay the lowest tax rate of any municipality or unincorporated area in the county— $16.57 per $1,000 of their properties’ taxable values. This tax benefit is desirable to affluent out of state residents in high taxation states such as New York, New Jersey, and California. However, the Town of Palm Beach and the Palm Beach County Tax Assessor have to finalize their budgets next month. If either makes changes between now and then, the numbers could change.
West Palm Beach Taxes
According to a recent article, West Palm Beach property owners will see their tax bills go up to 5 percent in the next budget year. Although Mayor Keith James wanted to see lower taxes in the coming year, the coronavirus pandemic changed the city’s circumstances, and city commissioners voted to continue using the same tax rate as the past several years—up to five percent more than the year before. The operating tax rate, as approved, could go no higher than $8.35 per $1,000 of a home’s value. Under Florida law, the total tax rate would be capped at $8.47 per $1,000. The city commissioners could reduce that rate at a future budgetary meeting in September. However, the city’s needs are more significant due to pandemic-related expenses such as paying police and firefighters for overtime hours.
Although the city reportedly has millions of dollars in its reserves, its current $193 million operating budget is stretched thin enough for some city workers to have been placed on 15-day furloughs. The city budgeted initially for various fees and taxes to bring in annual funds. However, because of the pandemic, there is going to be a substantial shortfall this year. One of the most significant deficits will be from the half-cent sales tax, which is expected to bring in $2.8 million less than was initially budgeted.
The recent preliminary tax assessor number shows West Palm Beach property owners’ total taxes being calculated using the rate of— $21.97 per $1,000 of their properties’ taxable values.
At Rabideau Klein, we have extensive experience handling multi-million-dollar transactions for high-end real estate in Palm Beach County. David E. Klein, Esq. and Guy Rabideau, Esq. are Florida Board-Certified Real Estate attorneys with the expertise and local knowledge you need to assist you in managing your residential and commercial real estate issues. Contact Rabideau Klein today to discuss your real estate legal needs.