County Commissioners need to lower taxpayers’ milling rates to avoid a significant tax increase next year. This is because the value of taxable assets has increased by nearly 14% and the market value has increased by 29%.
Applying the same rate as the current 4.7815 per $ 1,000 tax, it will be $ 142 million more than this year. At least two members, Mayor Mac Bernard and Mayor Robert Wayne Ross, support a reduction in milling rates.
“We don’t want to be jarring,” Wayne Ross said, saying residents have to deal with inflation of 8%, gasoline prices of $ 5 a gallon, and significant premium increases. “When people are belting, this is a time when it’s hard to get much more income. Should I really get the last $ 1 just because I can?”
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The impact of the budget proposed for fiscal year 2023 was discussed in a recent budget workshop for county commissioners. The county’s total budget is $ 1,869 million, 65% of which, or $ 1.2 billion, comes from property taxes.
Homeowners with a taxable home price of $ 630,000 will pay about $ 3,000 to fund the county’s services. This figure does not include the cost of fire rescue services or the operation of school districts and municipalities.
State legislation that limits taxation increases to 3% for residential real estate and 10% for non-residential real estate, preventing double-digit tax increases. However, county real estate appraiser Dorothy Jacks said most taxpayers would see an increase of 3% or 10%. It doesn’t happen very often that the taxable amount goes up to the upper limit, she said.
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Jacks told the commissioner that the final numbers could indicate that the asset value had increased by another 1% by July 12, when the commission set the milling rate. Commissioners Mac Bernard and Wayne Ross suggested that increases beyond current estimates be used to reduce rates.
The taxable amounts and market prices calculated by the JACCS office reflect the values as of January 1, this year. The new construction generated a record $ 4.3 billion, of which $ 1.2 billion occurred in the unincorporated area of the county west of the Turnpike in Florida.
The county’s spending plan will provide $ 15.9 million for a 6% salary increase for employees, $ 10.2 million for increased health insurance costs, $ 5 million for worker housing and $ 4.7 million for increased fuel costs. The budget also expects to hire 96 new employees.
The county administrator, Verdenia Baker, pointed out that it is difficult to increase the crushing rate once it is cut, and recommended that the crushing rate not be reduced.
Baker explained that the county government is struggling to retain and hire new employees. Also, the demands placed on the county government due to the significant population growth remain strict, especially in the unincorporated areas of the county’s jurisdiction.
The county has allocated $ 34 million to build a new fire station and upgrade an existing fire station. We plan to hire 52 firefighters in 2023.
The sheriff’s budget was scrutinized during the workshop. The law enforcement portion of the sheriff’s budget accounts for almost one-third of the total budget. At $ 595 million, it exceeds $ 478 million allocated to all departments supervised by the County Commission. Sheriffs also run county prisons, which make up an additional 12% of the budget. Together, the sheriff’s office occupies almost half of the county’s budget.
Mike Diamond covers Government and Transportation in Palm Beach County. If you have any tips, please contact [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @ michael06339386.