What’s property tax inflation in your area?

We are informed that inflation is at 3 percent. The various county and local governments here in Palm Beach County/Jupiter somehow did not get the memo. A “Notice of Proposed Property Taxes” that I recently received shows that the taxing authorities are increasing their budgets by about 9.5% on a per-resident basis. The notice shows the millage rates with and without the proposed budget increases.

(I don’t think that the budget increases can be explained by the lockdown-driven exodus from the Northeast. The county’s population grew by only 13,000 in 2022, less than 1 percent (Palm Beach Post).)

Note that the first $50,000 of value is exempt for full-time residents under the “homestead exemption” and the assessed value for a primary residence cannot go up by more than 3 percent annually (but there is no limit to increases for the millage rates?).

Readers: What’s happening to your property tax bills in our 3% economy?

One of our neighbors is an accomplished oil painter. Here’s a photo that I took of what I think is one of the nicer-looking houses in the neighborhood for her to use as the basis of a painting:

What I think is the same house, but in white:

(The truly custom houses in this area are reserved for the truly rich!)

While shopping for furniture that would help our senior golden retriever get up on the bed, I found this upsetting example of inflation:

19 thoughts on “What’s property tax inflation in your area?

  1. Remember when there was that conspiracy theory that had to do with really expensive furniture being stand-ins for sex trafficking transactions?
    Apparently plain white steel storage cabinets for industrial use can cost 11K, so why not a swanky bench? I always thought that when you see amazon names that are all-caps nonsense, that means it’s a Chinese knockoff…

  2. Like tipping, which should stay at 15 percent forever, since inflation in the price of food will automatically make that 15 percent go up as well [1] the property tax percentage should really only change when the price of services change–or when the price of property changes. But unlike food, which never goes down, a dropping real estate market will actually require that the property tax percentage go up, if services are going to stay the same. (This assumes assessments follow market price, when they might lag.)

    [1] Warning: Do not explain this advanced math to the waitstaff.

    • 123: the rates in Palm Beach County are actually going down. The tax base here has been getting larger thanks to Florida Realtor of the Year 2020 and 2021 Andrew Cuomo. The document that is the subject of this post shows two alternative new millage rates, one before and one after the agency budget increases. (Both of these rates, however, are actually lower than last year’s.)

  3. The property tax on my homesteaded 2000 sf single-family FL golf course home has remained flat since I bought it as a foreclosure in 2011. Same for my Dad’s nearby home, built in 1962, purchased in 2010, from the original owner.

  4. In Germany, a 300k house will cost you 15k in purchase taxes (5%) but then afterwards the yearly property tax could be just 100-200 euros a year depending on the size of the land and the value per sqm. I’m taking about surburban area – no idea how much inside cities (e.g. Munich). I’m guessing for retirees who finished making the mortgage payments that’s a really good deal in the long run (20+ years ). Probably in Florida you be paying 2k-3k a year in property tax!

    • Wow, 1-200/year for a suburban house în Germany! Here în Southern France it is 1200/year for a 60 sq m (~600 sq ft) apartament.

  5. property tax deflation, locked for 20 years, due to non-partizan vote for local state politicians.

  6. In my county in northern Colorado, the average assessment increased 40%. We have not received the actual tax bill yet.

  7. Local authority assessed us up 25% for 2022 over ’21. We appealed. No dice. No explanation. Maybe I am consuming 25% more police/fire/school services this year? Assessments across the town were up, but 25% was an outlier.

    While in the Yucatan I was obliged to use Amazon.mx. (Delivery was surprisingly good, shipped out of some warehouse in Texas via DHL, you could track it all the way down thru the Valley of Mexico.) So I got used to lots of digits. But $12,012 for a footstool es, incluso en pesos, muy rico no?

  8. The deplorable property owning class in California clings to prop 13, for now (1% of what you paid for it creating a basis, and then max annual increase 2%/year).

  9. Too bad renters don’t get a direct property tax invoice like their landlords, but it’s definitely the inverse of the 10,000% decline in SD card prices over the last 5 years or we’d miss our inflation target.

    • lion: That’s a brilliant idea! Right now renters probably imagine that local government is free because what they’re paying is hidden. So they have no reason not to vote for increased local government spending.

    • For a while in the people’s republic of Santa Monica this was a thing. New taxes could be passed through to renters. Thankfully the voters, a majority of whom are renters, decided to stop this. Now owners are forced to pay for all new taxes and every new proposed tax is enthusiastically supported!

    • Actually they have already had it for a long time in France. There’s the property tax, payed by owners, and the ‘habitation tax’, payed by everyone except the ‘unhoused’ (known in the administration language of France as the SDF, ‘sans domicile fixe’, ‘with no fix address’, and jokingly, probably because of the aforementioned tax that they do not pay, as ‘sans difficultés financières’, ‘without financial problems’).

      Owners pay both taxes.

      The current president pledged to gradually scrap the ‘habitation’ tax. On one hand it should be OK, but on the other hand it was one of only two taxes that went directly to the town coffers. France is already highly centralized, the decision to scrap this local tax will make it even more so and will increase the towns’ political and financial dependence on the central government.

  10. I own a lake house and the vacant lot next door. The assessed value of the house went up 57% this year, and the lot went up by an astonishing 127%! Granted the previous assessed values were fairly low, and lagging the actual values. The millage rate went down slightly, leading to a huge tax increase overall.

    The assessed value of the house in town went up 24%, and the millage rate decreased slightly, also leading to a sizable tax increase.

    When I look at my personal inflation rate, by far the highest increases I’ve seen are taxes.

    P.S. My state obviously has no caps on year to year assessment increases. Man, wouldn’t that be nice!

  11. I looked at a very nice 3/2/ 2000 sf FL home for sale today (built in 1995). In good condition, but a little but dated. In an upscale gated community, 55 y/o and up, golf, pools, and plenty of other amenities and activities, and 80% restricted to military veterans. The deal breakers were $35,000 up- front initiation fee for non-veteran buyers and $1200 monthly maintenance fee (includes all home repairs, including roof, AC, electrical, lawn care, exterior paint). No HOA or other fees.

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