Commissioners Continue To Reduce Property Tax Rate Despite Manager Request For Increase

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Staff report

Delray Beach’s property tax rate will be one-tenth a mill less than the current rate, a move commissioners have vowed to keep for 10 years.

The decision to lower the tax rate began in 2014. This year, commissioners unanimously agreed to keep the promise against the interim city manager’s request to increase the millage rate by one-tenth mill.

Interim city manager Neal de Jesus said if commissioners reduce the rate, the city’s budget will be in a deficit.

Commissioners did not express concern over balancing the budget. They were all in alignment with giving back to the residents with a slight break.

The rate set in July can be lowered more, but not raised. The proposed rate will be 6.86 mills per $1,000 of taxable property value.

Just because the rate is lowered doesn’t mean residents will necessarily see a break on their bill. Taxable values in the city have increased about 6 percent, according to the property appraiser’s office.

A Delray property owner of a home valued at $300,000 with a $50,000 homestead exemption can expect to pay $1,761 in city taxes.

If that homeowner lives in the downtown, they can expect to see another charge for 1 mill from the Downtown Development Authority.

Commissioners approved the DDA’s request to charge 1 mil, which it historically has assessed. This upcoming fiscal year, the DDA’s budget will break $1 million.

Property values downtown have increased about 6.7 percent, so the DDA will see a bump of $59,000 in its current budget.