By Mary Hladky

Boca Raton property owners will see a minuscule decrease in the city’s property tax rate if the tentative rate set on July 23 wins final approval.

“Taking direction from our goal-setting session this spring, staff is not recommending an increase in the tax rate for next year,” Deputy City Manager George Brown told City Council members.

The tentative rate is $3.6787 per $1,000 of taxable property value, virtually unchanged from $3.6788 last year.

But if approved at a Sept. 9 budget hearing, it will amount to a 4.2 percent increase in taxes. That’s because the city’s property valuations increased 4.9 percent this year. Boca’s taxable property value is now $25 billion, more than any other city in Palm Beach County.

If the tentative rate is adopted, a home with a taxable value of $1 million would pay $3,678 in city property taxes.

To bring in the same amount of tax money as last year, Boca Raton would have to roll back its tax rate to $3.3388 per $1,000 of taxable value.

Homeowners also will pay $10 more for fire protection if the tentative rate wins approval. The fire services assessment is increasing to $145 from $135. It also increased $10 last year.

The city is assessing only 54 percent of what it is allowed to assess. It is spending $23.5 million on fire protection services this year.

The Sept. 9 budget hearing begins at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers. Council members will be able to lower the rate at that time but cannot increase it.

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