Q&A of the Day – Is South Florida overtaxed?

Q&A of the Day – Is South Florida overtaxed?

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Today’s entry: Your story about Florida’s taxes is interesting but we already know Florida’s a low tax state....but what about South Florida? We all know taxes are higher here.

Bottom Line: Yesterday I shared the news that Florida’s overall tax burden, according to Florida Tax Watch, is 20% below the national average and is the 7th lowest overall. Without any additional context that’s impressive given the quality of life we’re able to enjoy in South Florida. Clearly though, not all local governments are created equal and you’re right that South Florida’s local governments are on the upper end of taxation in our state. Notably, 53% of total taxes paid by Floridians happen at the local level, so it’s true that your local government(s) determine most of the taxes you pay in Florida.

Here’s a look at the ranking of the total tax burden based on total local government taxes (municipal and county) ranked based on Florida’s 67 counties:

  • Broward: 8th highest property taxes & 7th highest for overall revenue collected per capita.
  • Miami-Dade: 7th highest property taxes & 3rd highest for overall revenue collected per capita.
  • Palm Beach: 5th highest property taxes & 10th highest for overall revenue collected per capita.

So any way you choose to evaluate Florida’s TriCounty, we’re among the highest taxed in the state, though not the most taxed in the state. So that’s something. But how much more do we pay to live here, per person, compared to the state average?

  • Broward: $1,123 annually 22% above state average
  • Miami-Dade: $2,038 annually 40% above state average
  • Palm Beach: $1,141 annually 22% above state average

Obviously we’re paying a premium to live here compared to the rest of the state and now you know how much. It’s a good reminder as our locally elected officials are the ones determining how much we’re taxed and many local elections will take place throughout South Florida in March. In terms of taxes, we get what we vote for locally, the same as we do in state and federal elections.

Photo Credit: Joel Malkin

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