What South Floridians Will Pay In Property Taxes
Bottom Line: Against the backdrop of the school mask mandate debate, on back of last year’s COVID slide, you’ve likely received your proposed property tax assessment. The property taxes, which are the top funding source for our schools and will cost you a record amount to pay again this year. As South Floridians are increasingly becoming engaged with our school districts and our children’s education generally, it’s an opportune time to become more informed about what we’re paying for and to whom, in order to keep the roof over our family’s heads.
I always encourage a full review of your property tax bill prior to the paying of your property taxes. The first reason is the ability for you to identify any potential mistakes which may cost you more than you should be paying. You have the legal right to challenge your property tax assessment if you feel it’s unfair. The other reason is to gain a greater grasp of all of the taxing authorities you’re required to pay and specifically how much. While those assessments vary by county and municipality throughout South Florida, the one commonality is that we pay more towards our school districts than any other taxing authority. Those are shown in two tax lines. One for school taxes paid to the state of Florida – which the state directs and the second for a direct payment to your county’s school district. The average increase in proposed property taxes is about 5% higher in Broward and Palm Beach County this year, while Miami-Dade's increase averaged about 4%. Here’s the breakout of the average proposed property tax assessment in South Florida with the increases factored in:
- Broward: $5,664
- Miami-Dade: $5,292
- Palm Beach County: $6,423
Knowing your numbers when it comes to your finances is always a good idea. When it comes to your property taxes, it’s especially important. It’s as simple as this. If you don’t pay your property taxes, you’ll lose your home and it’s never been more expensive to keep it. The average property tax bill in South Florida is approximately 50% higher than the state average and taxes for schools/teachers are generally the highest property tax expense at 35%-40% of the average property tax bill. Evaluate your property tax bill and evaluate whether you feel you’re getting what you’re paying for – starting with the most expensive component, education. Also, it’s worth noting that your local government could choose to roll back your mileage rate to offset increases. It’s important to advocate your position to your local officials as well given that local governments are set to see record property tax revenue pouring in.