The Palm Beach Civic Association attended the Palm Beach County Budget Workshop this week to voice concerns about the FY2016 Budget proposed at $1,168,084,334.
“Our concern is that spending could be creeping up again,” said Ned Barnes, president of the Palm Beach Civic Association. “The sheriff ’s budget is particularly ominous. We’re concerned that spending could be taking off again.”
Palm Beach County Taxpayer Action Board and the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County are asking County Commissioners to reduce the property tax rate. They are proposing that the increasing tax revenue from rising property values should allow the reduction of the rate.
The property appraiser said property values are up by 8.6 percent. Estimates from the county show that they would take in $724.8 million in property tax revenue — $57.5 million more than it brought in this year.
The Sheriff’s budget includes a 5.2 percent increase in funding to $553.7 million.
Even with the tax rate (Millage Rate) stable at $4.78 per $1,000 in taxable property value, business owners and homeowners with second homes will see a 9 percent increase in taxes because of the rise in property value. Homesteaded properties would only see a “nominal increase” according the Bob Weisman, County Administrator.
Questions about the tax rate will be answered next month during the July 21 budget meeting. The County Commission will then hold public hearings — one on Sept. 8 and another Sept. 21 — before approving a final budget for the tax year beginning Oct. 1.