Tax Tripled in One Year. Is Palm Beach County reassessing tax rates (to be lower) as housing prices moderate??

Asked by Stefan, Varner Mon May 5, 2008

I have looked at a particular house in West Palm Beach. Tax assessment in in 2006/ $1,975, listed for buyers to see in MLS, in 2007/$6,525. Not listed. Taxes clearly ballooned along with housing prices. A real problem for realtors, buyers, sellers. As a buyer I cannot bring myself to pay tax on a house valued by the Tax Appraiser at $315k, when it's selling price is at $235k. I want to buy it, all else is a-go, but this is the sticking point. I won't do it, do not HAVE TO move. Typical in the area. Q? What do Real Estate Professionals think about this situation. Are Realtors as a group involved in approaching the Tax Assessor/Local Government on this topic in any way? Will assessments be LOWERED as SALES AMOUNTS moderate?? I am not currently in the area. The TAX MORE THAN TRIPLED in one year, again, THE major sticking point, as it will be for any informed buyer. Neither Services nor Costs Tripled? Where's the $$? If we get around it for now, what about the Future? Bad, HELP!

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Juan A. Oliva, , West Palm Beach, FL
Sat Jun 7, 2008
Only Palm Beach County Tax Assesor's Office probably has that answer for you, even with the supposed Save our Homes Legislation that came out last year Palm Beach County is going to raise their Mill Rate to counter that and raise tax revenues to pay for services.

There is a process that you can apeal your tax assesment but there is no guarantee it will go your way, it seems we get our taxes lowered one way and they get raised another. Someone that has been living in their home for sometime may have a lower tax assesment than someone that bought their home in the same neighboorhood last year because the assesor would pick up the current sales price and assess on that.

I am afraid none of us will have an answer for you.
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Gladys Van O…, Agent, West Palm Beach, FL
Mon Nov 4, 2013
The real estate taxes on the home you are thinking of buying will be based on the price you pay, not on the last sales price before you purchased it. You will also be able to claim up to a $50,000 tax exemption if your property is homesteaded. Homesteading means that you must live in your home 6 months and 1 day a year and that it must be your legal residence. Even though you may feel some sticker shock in the beginning with your real estate taxes, you will see the benefits in your income taxes, because Florida does not have a state income tax! States with a state income tax always struggle to pay for their services, i.e. police, fire, etc. because if people are out of jobs, they don't pay income taxes. We fare better than all other states, except Alaska, during a recession, and we have better weather!
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Josh, Home Buyer, West Palm Beach, FL
Tue Jun 3, 2008
I have asked the same thing because we applied last year to have the taxes reduced because we felt the assessment was too high, but they rejected that because they said that the price was reflective of comparable home sales in the past year. They said that they will lower or raise prices based on the market, but I have yet to see them lower assessments on their own. However, I do know people who have challenged the assessment and won on an individual basis. As a whole, I would be reluctant to say they will go down. If you do decide to buy, you can bring them a list of recent home sales in the area and they should adjust it to somewhere around that price area, but you will need to be proactive in this, not just wait and hope they lower the assessment without you pushing them.
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Anonymous, Home Buyer, anonymous
Tue Jun 3, 2008
I don't see where this question has been answered. Could someone address the issue of whether assessments will be lowered as sales moderate? Thank you.
0 votes
Jacqueline F…, , Kissimmee, FL
Mon May 5, 2008
Hello Stefan,

I am not in Palm Beach County but I will try my best to answer your question.
When was the home built? If it was in 2005-2006 the taxes might only be on the land value itself.
In my area, I know they review the sales in the county records from the year before sending out the tax bill at the end of the year.

Also, if it is going to be your primary residence you can file for a homestead exemption which will bring your taxes down some.
If it is not, Here is some information.

Cap Assessment Increases on Non-Homesteaded Properties to 10% Annually
What is Non-homestead Cap Assessment?
The property tax amendment limits the assessment increases for specified non-homestead real property to 10% each year. The cap does not apply to school district levies.

When is Non-homestead Cap Assessment effective?
Cap will be effective for 2009 tax roll. The limitation is repealed effective January 1, 2019, unless renewed in the 2018 election by voters.

How do I apply?
Applications will be available in the fall of 2008. Please note that you MUST apply to receive this cap.

Property Taxes May Change When a Home Sells
“Buyer should not rely on the seller's current property taxes as the amount of property taxes that the buyer may be obligated to pay in the year subsequent to purchase.”

A new law under Section 689.261, Florida Statutes, now requires a disclosure, before signing a contract, that a sale triggers a reassessment of property taxes. Please check your local tax assessor's website for a tax estimator.

I hope this information was helpful to you.
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