The City of West Palm Beach is exploring the possibility of bucking a nationwide trend to avoid a property tax increase for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
Typically, cities try to set a “not to exceed” tax rate higher than what is deemed necessary in order to create a cushion, but the West Palm Beach staff recommends the city go no higher than where the existing maximum rate is. This was to be presented to commissioners on Monday.
Should the tax rate recommendation be accepted, the cap is expected to be equal to today’s rate of $8.35 per every $1,000 of taxable property value, according to the Palm Beach Post. The commission would also set a rate of 18.4 cents for debt service on $1.55 million from a parks bond. The actual tax rate for residents should end up at $8.54 for every $1,000 of taxable property value.
Encouraging news came out of the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s office last month. The appraiser forecasts a 6.7 percent West Palm Beach property values from $8.3 to $8.9 billion. That makes the city’s recommendation even more important to Mayor Jeri Muoio, who can focus more on her vow to give city employees a 2 percent pay increase, replenish reserves and address capital improvements. [Palm Beach Post] — Andy Kent