Palm Beach County reduces property tax rate, the first cut in 12 years
Palm Beach County commissioners have reduced the county’s property tax rate — providing slight relief from the rising cost of living. It’s the first cut in 12 years.
Mayor Robert Weinroth said reducing the millage rate is the right thing to do.
“This is an opportunity to finally give our residents just a little bit of a respite,” Weinroth said. “And I think that we owe it to them. Our residents are going to appreciate what we’ve done here tonight.”
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Weinroth add that the “county can always find a way to spend more money” to fund county services, such as mental health, housing, and educational literacy.
The motion passed 4-2. Opponents, including Commissioners Melissa McKinlay and Dave Kerner, said they were concerned about possible cuts to county services. McKinlay pointed to the fentanyl-related overdoses and the housing crisis in the county, among other things.
“I have concerns about lowering [the property tax rate] and hitting a recession, hitting some other thing and never being able to recoup that,” McKinlay said.
Adding that there won’t be any “political fortitude to increase taxes” later.
According to the county's property appraiser, taxable property values have increased 13.55%.
Commissioner Kerner also fears reducing the mileage rate with a possible recession hovering the country.
“It’s very difficult to raise the mileage rate to sustain the government’s necessary operations during those times,” Kerner said. “Fortunately the boards in the past apparently have had that fortitude and courage and I hope that we would as well.”
The board will continue budget discussion in September.