Palm Beach experienced a 13.4 percent average increase in taxable property values during 2022, according to a preliminary tax roll estimate released June 1 by Palm Beach County Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks.
Total taxable residential and commercial values on the island reached a record $28.9 billion, placing Palm Beach second highest among the county’s 39 municipalities. Boca Raton topped the list at $34.6 billion; West Palm Beach stood at $21 billion.
The increases were fueled by a thriving real estate market with near-record construction levels in areas of the county.
“Values have continued to increase, as demand remains high,” said Becky H. Robinson, public information officer in the property appraiser’s office. “This is especially true on the island.”
All but three of the 39 municipalities in the county registered increases of more than 10 percent in their overall values.
Countywide, values increased by 13.3 percent. The county’s taxable property value reached a total of nearly $290 billion. That includes $4.3 billion in new construction.
The preliminary data reflects values as of Jan. 1, 2023. The figures can change and don’t become final until later in the year. The June 1 estimate is prepared to help local governments forecast tax revenue as they prepare their budgets and set their tax rates for the next fiscal year. Jacks’ office will release another round of preliminary numbers on July 1.
The Palm Beach Town Council has scheduled a July 13 meeting, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Town Hall, to focus on the 2023-24 budget and property tax rate. Final approval occurs at two formal hearings in September. The new budget and tax rate will take effect Oct. 1.
The increase in taxable values means most property owners in the county can expect to pay significantly more in property taxes unless their respective taxing authorities cut their tax rates.
Mark Zeidman, chairman of the Palm Beach Civic Association’s Tax and Finance Committee, said the increase in taxable values could mean that at least some property owners on the island will experience a tax increase.
“I think it’s likely to mean our property taxes are going to go up unless there is a reduction in the millage rate,” Zeidman said. “There was some reduction in the millage rate last year. But the taxing authorities are too early in the budget process to determine how much property taxes will increase.”
Last year, the Palm Beach Town Council lowered the property tax rate by 7 percent, to $2.69 per $1,000 of taxable value, for the budget year that began Oct. 1, 2022. Property owners with a homestead exemption paid $111 less per $1 million of taxable value; those without the exemption paid $66 more per $1 million, according to the town.
Town Manager Kirk Blouin said in September that the lower rate would generate an additional $5.7 million in tax revenue because of an average increase of 18 percent in taxable values on the island.
The town collects less than 20 percent of the total property tax revenue paid by Palm Beach property owners. The remainder is collected by the county, the county school district, and other taxing authorities.
Taxpayers receive their preliminary property tax bills in late August.
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