Frequently Asked Questions
Why are my taxes higher than my neighbor’s, since we have the same type of property?
Answer: Your home may be similar or even identical to your neighbor’s, however, the assessed value and ultimately the taxes can be very different for a number of reasons. The assessment of homesteaded properties are capped at 3% per year and non-homestead properties are capped at 10% per year. The cap starts in the year following purchase, so your neighbor may have purchased their home at a different time than you, resulting in a different capped value. In addition, Florida property owners can “port” their cap savings from one homestead to another, which also impacts assessed value and taxes. Lastly, your neighbor may be benefiting from certain exemptions that also lower taxable value and ultimately taxes paid. A better comparison between similar properties is market value, which is not impacted by caps or exemptions.
Why did my taxes go up?
Answer: Your Taxes vs. the Previous Owner’s Taxes - Many first-time Florida homeowners are surprised when their tax bills are higher than the tax bills of the previous owner(s) or their neighbor(s). When the property changes ownership, Florida law requires the property appraiser to remove exemptions and reassess the property so the assessed value equals the just value. This takes effect on January 1 after the property is purchased. The previous owner’s exemption and cap benefit stay with the property for the remainder of the tax (calendar) year in which the house is purchased, so the first tax bill will reflect the previous owner’s benefits if the house was purchased before he or she paid that year’s tax bill. If the property was owned on January 1 and the homestead exemption was applied for by March 1, the tax bill for the year will reflect the reduction in taxable value, but the cap benefit will not take effect until the following year.
Why did my Market value go up more than 3%?
Answer: The 3% homestead cap and 10% non-homestead properties cap applies to the assessed value and not the market value. Market value is our estimate of what your property would sell for and there is no limitation on how much that value can be increased from year to year. Assessed value is the capped value that cannot go up more than 3% for homestead properties and 10% for non-homestead properties. Assessed value minus any exemptions equal taxable value.
What are my options if I disagree with the property assessment listed on my Notice of Proposed Property Taxes and Assessments?
Answer: Property owners who disagree with the property assessment listed on their Notice of Proposed Property Taxes have two options – contact the Property Appraiser’s Office for an informal review of the matter or file a petition for adjustment with the Value Adjustment Board (VAB), or both. The VAB is administered by the Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office, which is independent of the Property Appraiser’s Office.
Our office encourages property owners to contact us to request a (phone) conference regarding their concerns prior to filing a petition. In preparation for this discussion, records on your property are available on our website at www.pbcgov.org/PAPA or call us at 561.355.3230. If the matter cannot be resolved, you can file a petition with the VAB. You may visit the Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller’s VAB website: https://www.mypalmbeachclerk.com/public-funds/value-adjustment-board-vab for online petition filing.
I own a commercial property in Boynton Beach. Why are my non-ad valorem taxes so high?
Answer: The city of Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach and Boca Raton have a special Fire Rescue Assessment that is determined by USE and square footage. This fire assessment on commercial property can be substantial, even exceeding $10,000 for some properties.
I am a business owner in Palm Beach County, how do I file a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return?
Answer: All businesses are required to file a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return (Form DR 405) annually by April 1st (Florida Statutes 193.062), unless the value of your tangible personal property last year was under $25,000 and you received notice from our office that your requirement to file has been waived. For existing accounts that have filed a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return in the past, E-Filing is the best way for business owners in Palm Beach County to file. It’s timely, secure and efficient. Click here to learn more about E-filing.
How did you come up with the value?
Answer: When a business sends in a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return to our office, we enter information on all assets reported into our system: year acquired, condition, original cost. This produces a value for each asset, the total of which is the business’s assessment for that tax year. If no return is filed, Florida statute requires that our office make an estimate based on similar businesses in the County.
How do you determine how much land is reclassified to Agriculture?
Answer: The portion of the parcel dedicated to agricultural production is eligible to be reclassified. For uses like nurseries and row crops, that is generally the footprint of the planted area or portion used primarily for saleable agricultural products. Other uses, such as livestock or apiculture (bees) depend on the size and scope of the operation. We follow industry standards to determine how much land is necessary for each use. Typically, livestock standards are guided by Animal Units (AU). An animal unit is 1,000 lbs. of animal weight. A parcel can support more small animals; therefore, the standard is different for each type of livestock (Ex: 5 goats per acre, 24 bee hives per acres, 2 horses per acre). As there is a variety of uses such as grazing vs. boarding, or honey bee storage vs. on-site honey production, these standards depend heavily on the parcel and the nature of the business.
How do I file for a Homestead Exemption for the 2021 tax roll?
Answer: You have three options to submit your application. The easiest way to file is to E file on the PAPA website. For filing options and more information about the homestead exemption, on the PAPA homepage, go to the navigation bar and go to ‘Homestead Exemption’ and click on ‘Homestead Exemption Qualification Information’.
I missed the March 1st deadline to apply for a homestead exemption for the 2020 tax roll. Can I file a late application?
Answer: Yes. On the PAPA homepage, go to the navigation bar and go to ‘Forms’ and select the ‘Homestead Exemption’ form. You can download the form, fill it out, and mail it to: Palm Beach County Property Appraiser's Office, Exemption Services, 1st Floor, 301 N. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach, FL 33401. Deadline for late filers is September 14, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
Do I need to reapply for a homestead exemption every year?
Answer: No. We will renew your homestead exemption annually as long as you continue to qualify for the exemption. After January 1 of each year, we will send you a homestead exemption receipt by mail to confirm the renewal. You should review the receipt card to be sure everything is correct.
How do I change my mailing address associated with my property?
Answer: To request a change of a mailing address for real property or tangible personal property, the most common option is located on PAPA’s homepage under Quick Links – Click on the Mail Address Change Form. Complete and sign it and then it can be emailed or mailed to our office: email@example.com or Palm Beach County Property Appraiser's Office, Exemption Services, 1st Floor, 301 N. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach, FL 33401.
A more simpler way is to use E-Address Change – online: Once you have entered your search for the real property or TPP account, the ‘Property Record Detail’ webpage will pop up. Under ‘Owner Information or Tangible Property Information’ there will be a button displayed – ‘Change of Address’. Click on it and this will take you to the ‘E-Address Change’ webpage and follow the prompts.
How do I request a combination or a split of my property?
Answer: On the PAPA homepage, go to the navigation bar and go to ‘Forms’, and click on ‘All Forms’ and select ‘Parcel Combination Request’ or ‘Parcel Split Request’. Fill out the request and email to PAO@pbcgov.org
I missed the March 1st deadline to apply for the agricultural classification. Can I file a late application?
Answer: Florida statue allows us to accept late applications, if the applicant provides evidence “that demonstrates that the applicant was unable to apply for the classification in a timely manner or that otherwise demonstrates extenuating circumstances that warrant the granting of the classification…” FS 196.461(3)(a). Late applications must be submitted on or before the 25th day after the July 1st notification deadline (July 1st is when we announce approvals and denials of the classification). Beyond that date, in most cases, a petition must be filed with the Value Adjustment Board to be considered for the classification.
My property is in a trust, after filing for a Homestead Exemption, do I need to do anything else?
Answer: If you have not filed for Homestead Exemption, you may use our E File on-line system by going to www.pbcgov.org/PAPA After filing for a homestead exemption or if you currently have a homestead exemption and your property is put into a Trust, our office does not need the Trust Agreement, which can be large and have personal information, instead we use a Certificate of Trust (COT). The COT lets us know who has beneficial interest along with who is entitled to the use and occupancy of the property. To locate the COT on our website, on the PAPA homepage, go to ‘Forms’, and click on ‘All Forms’ and select ‘Certificate of Trust’. The COT must be completed and notarized. You may mail or email your completed notarized COT form to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Palm Beach County Property Appraiser's Office, Exemption Services, 1st Floor, 301 N. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach, FL 33401.