Broward Homeowners to Pay Higher Property Taxes
Owning a home has long been considered the American Dream. But if you live in Broward County, the American Dream just got a little more expensive. Homeowners should expect to notice some changes on their November property tax bill. According to the Sun Sentinel, Broward residents will pay a combined $120 million more than last year. Several Broward cities have increased sewer, water and fire fees. But that’s not all. As the November 8th election approaches, voters will decide on a proposed increase in the county’s sales tax rate from 6 to 7 percent.
Where Does the Money Go?
Nobody likes paying higher taxes. While it may seem like an easy decision to vote “No” on a tax hike, there are some important factors to consider. You don’t have to be an expert in tax law in Fort Lauderdale to know many Broward cities are financially strapped. Some have resorted to some creative and sometimes sneaky methods to generate revenue, including the addition of traffic light cameras to collect fines from people who drive through red lights. The money from the proposed sales tax increase will be used to pay for city and county infrastructure and transportation projects. The increased property dollars will be used to pay for the following:
- Public safety projects
- Increased law enforcement
- More police patrol vehicles
- More fire trucks and firefighters
- Police body cameras
- Surveillance cameras for parks and public buildings
How Are Property Taxes Determined?
Broward’s real estate market has made a nice comeback since the housing crash nearly a decade ago. But as property values increase, so do taxes. The recent tax hikes were based on a combination of the tax rate and property values. Broward property values have steadily increased over the last five years. As a result, property taxes have also increased despite no change in the tax rate. According to the Sun Sentinel, the average Fort Lauderdale home assessed at $318,201 would increase to $344,293 in 2016. Despite no change in the tax rate, the tax bill would increase $108 to $1,418.
The truth is most homeowners are completely unaware of changes in tax laws. The majority of Broward residents do not stay up to date with the activities of their city governments. However, Florida law requires cities to inform the public about any plans for tax increases over the previous year. In the past year, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City and Southwest Ranches all increased their tax rates. But not all Broward cities did the same. Seven other cities slightly lowered their rates. However, it was not enough to reduce property taxes. Cooper City has the highest property tax increase at 12.5 percent. Parkland has the lowest at 3.9 percent.
Tax law in Fort Lauderdale cans sometimes get complicated. But it is always important to stay informed. To learn more about your property tax bill, visit www.bcpa.net , find your property and then click on “2016 TRIM Notice”. Your tentative tax bill will be displayed.