If you are thinking about buying a home in Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Juno Beach, North Palm Beach or anywhere throughout Palm Beach County, you have looked at many costs associated with new homeownership, including the property tax bill. 

Florida legislators last week passed laws leading to sweeping changes in the amount of taxes that homeowners pay and in how the value of your home is determined for tax purposes.

The first part of tax reform relates to rolling back the amount of money local governments can collect from property taxes.  It is estimated that throughout the state, tax collections will be reduced by about 7 percent.  In Palm Beach County, that amount is estimated to be 9 percent.  That does not necessarily mean that everyone's property tax bill in Palm Beach County will be reduced by 9 percent, but it is a benchmark for reduction. 

The second major part of the reform legislation would determine how homes are valued for tax purposes.  Currently, residents who have homesteaded their property can see property taxes increase by a maximum of 3 percent a year under Save Our Homes.  But how much will taxes increase under the new system which allows a 75 percent exemption for the first $200,000 of home value and 15 percent for the next $300,000 of home value.

To calculate your estimate the taxable value of your home, you need its market value and its assessed value.  Click here for the property appraisers website in Palm Beach County, Martin County, St. Lucie County,  Broward County or Miami-Dade County.  Look for the tab that says "records," or "real property search," or "real estate," or "property search," and enter your address.  Capture the market value and assessed value for your home.

Then come back and click here to determine the taxable value of your home from an interactive page provided by The Palm Beach Post. 

We ran some examples of homes in price ranges from $400,000 to $700,000.  If your market and assessed value are the same, you would save money on taxes for nine years with a $400,000 home, for eight years with a home bought for $500,000, for seven and a half years for a $600,000 home and for six years with a $700,000 home.  Savings are higher in the early years of owning the home than in the later years, and eventually, you may pay more under the new system.

Homeowners who have homesteaded prior to the new system taking effect may elect to remain with the Save Our Homes method of calculating assessed value.

This new system of calculating the value of a home for tax purposes must be approved by 60 percent of all voter in an election scheduled for January.

Be thoughtful when you vote.  Is this really property tax reform?   



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