Hint: What they owe will likely be more than last year because Palm Beach County’s property values have continued to increase. And that increase will be there even if local governments don’t propose an increase to the tax rate, which most aren’t.
Preliminary numbers from the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s Office show municipalities within the county are expected to see an overall 6.7 percent increase this year in property values from $122.8 billion to $131.1 billion. Unincorporated areas are expected to see a 6.1 percent increase from $53.5 billion to $56.7 billion. All together — both unincorporated and incorporated — the county will likely see an overall 6.5 percent increase to $187.8 billion from $176.3 billion.
Property values in West Palm Beach are expected to increase 7.38 percent, a jump from $11.8 billion to $12.7 billion. Boca Raton will likely see a jump from in property values about $22.5 billion to $23.9 billion, a 6.32 percent increase. Jupiter is looking at a 5.43 percent increase, from $10.3 billion to $10.9 billion. Wellington will likely see a jump from $7.9 billion to $8.3 billion, a 5.24 percent increase.
Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks’ office on Monday sent out 659,186 preliminary tax letters, also known as the Truth in Millage notices. Commercial and residential property owners can also find the notice on the appraiser’s website, www.pbcgov.org/papa, by going to the address search page.
Actual bills are to be mailed by Nov. 1.
The notices are based off appraised property values as of Jan. 1 of this year, and preliminary millage rates, which are the rate at which municipalities, the county, the School Board and other districts have proposed taxing residents.
Local governments already have set preliminary tax rates but typically take an official vote in September.
Property owners will see three columns on the notice. The first is last year’s property taxes. The second is what their taxes this year will likely be. And the third, frequently referred to as the “rollback rate,” is what the owner would pay if taxing authorities sought to collect the same amount of property tax revenue as the year before.
The property appraiser gave these examples: A single-family residential home in Boynton with an average assessed value of $122,900 without a homestead exemption will likely pay $2,590 in taxes, not including non-ad valorem additions. That same home with a first-time homestead exemption will likely pay about $2,063.
For a West Palm Beach single-family home with an average assessed value of $202,400 and no homestead, the owner will likely pay about $4,266 in taxes not including non-ad valorem. That same owner with a first-time homestead would pay about $3,739.
Also on the notice are property valuations for last year and this year. The current year shows the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s estimate for what a property could have sold for on Jan. 1.
The notice also lists the amount of money sought by taxing authorities, such as the Palm Beach County School District, the South Florida Water Management District and the Children’s Services Council. The property owner will also see any exemptions the property has, such as homestead.
Taxpayers have until Sept. 14 to challenge their property’s market value, assessed value, classification or exemption status with the county’s Value Adjustment Board, according to a news release.
Petitioners can do so online at www.mypalmbeachclerk.com, in person at the Clerk & Comptroller’s Governmental Center office or any branch location or by mail to 301 N. Olive Ave., Room 203, West Palm Beach, FL 33401. All petitions must include a nonrefundable $15 filing fee.