Mayor Jeri Muoio’s plan to hold fast on West Palm Beach’s tax rate and fire assessment fee met with consensus from city commissioners Thursday at a budget workshop.
With the city facing a budget gap of as high as $8.5 million, the commission had voted in July to retain the option of raising the tax rate from the current $8.55 per $1,000 of taxable value to as much as $9.55. And city Finance Director Jeff Green had proposed tripling the city’s fire assessment fee, including increasing the residential fee from $25 to $85.
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2013-2014 BUDGET PROPOSAL
Proposed budget: $165 million
Proposed tax rate: $8.55 per $1,000 (unchanged from 2012). Rate includes 20 cents of debt service on bonds.
Tax increase for most homesteads: 2.1 percent.
Example: Although the tax rate would remain constant, the amount of taxes paid by owners of most homesteaded properties would increase. In 2012, the owner of a $250,000 home, with a taxable value of $200,000 after a $50,000 homestead exemption is applied, paid $1,710. But because state law limits property assessment increases of homesteaded properties to this year’s “cost of living” increase of 1.7 percent, that homestead in 2013 would be assessed at $254,250, with a taxable value of $204,250 after the homestead exemption is applied. That brings its taxes to $1,746, an increase of $36 or 2.1 percent. City taxes do not include those for Palm Beach County, public schools or other tax entities.
Public hearings: 5:01 p.m., Sept. 12 and 5:01 p.m., Sept. 25 at City Hall, 401 Clematis St.
Fire assessment vote: 5 p.m., Sept. 3 at City Hall.