Commissioners Keep Property Tax Rate Unchanged

The Palm Beach County Commission on Tuesday set its maximum property tax rate for the next fiscal year at 4.7815 mills, the same rate as the current year.

That rate would generate $599.6 million, which is $1.7 million, or 0.28 percent, more than the rollback rate of 4.7682, which would generate $597.95 million.

“The main purpose of this discussion is for the board to set the maximum millage rate that you can consider at the September public hearings,” Administrator Bob Weisman said.

The county also set a library system tax rate of 0.5491 mills, which would generate $37.4 million, and a fire-rescue tax rate of 3.4581 mills, would generate $177 million.

The county’s proposed total budget for fiscal year 2012-13 is $3.9 billion, which is $22.7 million less than the current year’s budget.

Staff reported that it had an additional $3 million in revenue from debt refinancing but had $1.7 million less due to a loss in revenue from the Property Appraiser’s Value Adjustment Board.

“This was an unusual year,” Weisman said. “It was a substantial loss from the Value Adjustment Board process that we just found out about between June and now, and that’s what that $1.7 million is.”

Commissioner Paulette Burdick asked whether, if they approved the motion on the floor, they could look at lowering the budget with any surpluses that might be found, and Weisman said they could.

“We’re not asking you to decide anything on this sheet, or how to use whatever monies may be available,” Weisman said. “There is $800,000 net available right now for the board to allocate. You’re not approving anything in the budget actually until you get to the public hearings in September.”

Commissioner Karen Marcus made a motion to approve the property tax rates, which carried 5-0.

Public hearings are set for Sept. 6 and Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. in the commission chambers. The final tax rate can be lower, but not higher, than 4.7815 mills.


Above: The Palm Beach County Commission,