Understanding Property Taxes
Gary Nikolits, Palm Beach County Property Appraiser assesses the value of each property each year; and on August 23rd, the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser's Office sends out the TRIM Notice for each property within the county. The TRIM Notice, an acronym short for Truth in Millage provides the owner with the previous and current years' assessments, tax rates, and rollback rates. The TRIM Notice is created from the last calendar year's market statistic, and will not reflect any changes that have occurred in the current calendar year.
Homeowners should keep in mind, that neighboring communities have different tax rates. Therefore, depending on the location of the property, the applied taxes will be correlative to the exact location. To understand the reason for the differences, one should understand how the rates are calculated: Initially, the tax rollback rate is calculated; this is the rate that when applied to the current taxable value will generate the same amount of tax dollars the municipality has the current year. Second is the proposed tax rate, this is based on budget; this is the tax rate that will be applied to the total taxable value to get the amount needed for the municipality's budget.
For individuals who are looking to purchase in Palm Beach County, property taxes are important to consider. Reviewing past property taxes and recent trends allows the buyers to have an idea of what the tax rate will be. It is important to understand how the market value and the current assessment could impact your taxes in the future. Just because the property taxes are affordable for the current homeowner, there is a possibility of the taxes rising. A proper property tax evaluation will result in responsible financial purchasing.
For those purchasing in the state, be sure to apply for homestead extensions. The deadline to apply for these is March 1st the year following the purchase. You will need to have closed by the December 31 to file for the homestead extension. What are homestead extensions? If there is a difference between market and assessed value, the difference can be ported towards the new property to lower taxable value. Once qualified for homestead, apply for portability. When portability is requested from the new property, the difference will reduce the assessed value of the new home therefore, reduce taxable value and taxes. The window to use portability is two years from date purchase.
Property over-assessed? Many people feel that their properties have been over-assessed and take action. The process for a value adjustment begins with filing a petition that entitles a hearing of evidence from the homeowner and the property appraiser. At the hearing, price adjustments in favor of the homeowner; but never against, depending on the strength of the evidence.
Depending on the municipality, property values have gone up this year at an average of 4%; though some cities witnessed 20% increases and few had lowered values. With interest rates changing and property values rising, more people are realizing that now is the opportunity to get their home sold and buy a new one, especially in the luxury market before the market increases further. For those considering a "move-up buy," now is definitely the time to do so. Waiting can lead to an inability to get to the next home later because of prices and interest rates rising; the gap between the current home and the next home may become too large and interest rates are currently good.
Tax Assessment Time Line
January 1st - Tax Lean Date - The date in which all properties must be assessed.
August 23rd - TRIM Notice Date - The date in which all trim notices, the proposed notice of assessment and property taxes is mailed to each property.
Here is the information for you to file for Homestead Exemption.
If you have questions about your property taxes, call us. We are here to help you.
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Listing information last updated on February 26th, 2017 at 4:22pm EST.