Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lake Worth residents will pay more taxes under proposed budget

Click title for link to PB Post article. The ugly nitty gritty:

The changes are coming because the city is merging its fire department with Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue beginning Oct. 1.

The proposed 2010 tax rate cap of $6.30 per $1,000 taxable value, including debt service, is down from $7.88 this year.

But when the county's proposed Fire-Rescue rate of $3.46 per $1,000 of taxable value is added, the total proposed rate is $9.76. That's a 24 percent increase and is near the state-mandated property tax rate cap of $10 per $1,000 taxable value.

On Tuesday, Mayor Jeff Clemens distributed a letter he wrote to Palm Beach County Commission Chairman Jeff Koons, asking the county to reduce the Fire-Rescue tax rate to help cities and towns such as Lake Worth that have contracts with the county.

"I understand the purpose is to collect the same amount of revenue as last year," Clemens wrote. "But all municipalities and the county are having to institute major cuts to services."

The taxable value of property in Lake Worth plummeted 24 percent this year, to $1.48 billion.