Modest Change In Taxable Property Values Please Local Leaders

The Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s Office released preliminary taxable value figures for 2021 this week showing modest increases countywide and in local municipalities.

The villages of Wellington and Royal Palm Beach saw taxable value increases of 5.33 and 5.52 percent, respectively, slightly below the average of 5.55 percent for all county municipalities, and the estimated average increase of 5.81 for the county as a whole.

The total taxable value in the Village of Wellington, including new construction of $71,191,533, was estimated at $9,299,800,813.

The total taxable value in the Village of Royal Palm Beach, including new construction, was estimated at $3,399,641,514, with new construction estimated at $47,413,180.

The Town of Loxahatchee Groves received a larger estimated increase of 8.37 percent, largely due to new growth and property improvements estimated at $6,880,983, to bring the estimated total value to $388,826,388.

Royal Palm Beach Village Manager Ray Liggins said he was happy with the modest increases in property values, pointing out that many homeowners in the community are protected by law from large increases in taxable property values.

“Property values cannot go up more than the cost of living, or 3 percent, whichever is least,” Liggins told the Town-Crier on Monday, adding that he considers conservative growth a good thing.

“Having it go up too fast, too quick will definitely affect the future and possibly see it coming down or reversing,” he said, pointing out that the current increase is greater than the 4.24 percent increase last year, adding that the new construction on State Road 80 added greatly to the new construction figure.

“That equates to almost $250,000 in revenue [for the village],” Liggins said, adding that it about covers the 2 percent salary increase that was awarded recently to staff.

Wellington Deputy Village Manager Tanya Quickel said the village’s increase was 2.8 percent over last year. “It’s good that it’s still stable and fairly conservative,” Quickel said, pointing out that 64 percent of Wellington’s total value is residential. “Out of that, 34 percent is homesteaded.”

She said that roughly one-third of the village’s 19,000 single-family residences are homesteaded.

“We’re very happy with this information,” Quickel said. “From the pandemic, there were a lot of questions about what was going to happen, so we’re very pleased with the stability of everything and the way things are. Wellington remains a very popular family market.”

The 2021 preliminary tax roll that the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s Office submitted to Florida’s Department of Revenue and to local taxing authorities are based upon market conditions as of Jan. 1, 2021.

The preliminary tax roll is a systematic listing of information pertaining to the just valuation of all real property within Palm Beach County for purposes of ad valorem taxation. Taxing authorities use these values to prepare their upcoming budgets and to determine their proposed tax rates.

“Palm Beach County’s overall market value has surpassed $300 billion,” Palm Beach County Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks said. “It may be difficult to recall the uncertainty of COVID-19’s disruptions on real estate markets last spring, especially as residential values saw a strong rebound at the end of 2020. However, other sectors continue to recover at a slower pace.”

Once the tax roll is approved, the Property Appraiser’s Office will prepare the notices of proposed property taxes and non-ad valorem assessments. This individualized letter shows each Palm Beach County property owner the value of their property, proposed tax rates and public hearing information. These letters are mailed in mid-August.

This is the second of three certifications of value required by law. A final certification occurs prior to the Nov. 1 tax bill.