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Palm Beach Civic Association 81st season logo

Protecting the quality of life since 1944.

Civic Association’s Tax and Finance Committee to inform residents about town finances

Our Town with William Kelly: Bigger budget, smaller tax rate, on tap for Palm Beach

At a public hearing on Wednesday, the Town Council tentatively approved a $97.2 million budget and a lower property tax rate for the year that begins Oct. 1.

Final approval of the budget and tax rate is scheduled at a second public hearing at 5:01 p.m. on Sept. 22 at Town Hall.

The budget, about $8 million (or 9.3 percent) larger than this year’s $89.1 million spending plan, includes nearly 10 new employee positions and 9 percent across-the-board pay increases tied to inflation.

Also included is $2.5 million for improvements in traffic signalization and crosswalk safety.

Commodities and other contractual costs are also up because of inflation, Town Manager Kirk Blouin said.

There is a $2.5 million transfer into the budget, from the capital improvement fund, to help fund reconstruction of the north fire station.

The council approved a property tax rate of $2.69 per $1,000 of taxable value – a 7 percent reduction from this year’s rate of $2.90 per $1,000.

The lower rate means homesteaded property owners will pay $111 less per $1 million of taxable value, according to the town. Those without the homestead exemption, who make up about 64 percent of property owners in the town, will pay $66 more per $1 million.

But Blouin said the budget will still generate $5.7 million more in property tax revenue because of an 18 percent average increase in taxable values on the island.

 

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