Beach sets higher taxes rates — here’s how to tell if you’ll pay more

The Miami Herald reports that Miami Beach city commissioners approved a tentative tax rate increase Wednesday, and the fine story by reporter David Smiley says about 40 percent of taxpayers will see that higher rate translate to higher property taxes for them next year.

How can you tell how that may affect your Belle Isle condo or Venetian Island home? Will you pay more?

The easiest way to predict that answer is based on when you bought your home — and whether it’s currently worth more or less than what you paid.

Longtime homeowners are most likely to see a tax increase.

That’s because people who bought at the height of the real estate boom — folks who in many cases are wringing their hands because their homes are now worth a lot less than what they paid — are most likely to be spared.

They likely will see the taxable value of their properly drop when the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser releases individual property assessments next month.

The actual amount a homeowner pays in taxes is determined by the taxable value of your home multiplied by the tax rate set by the city. If you are upside down in your home, your taxable value is likely to go down — and even though the tax rate is going up, the overall amount you are charged for taxes could be flat or could decline.

But if you’ve owned your condo for a long time — since before the real estate boom of the mid-2000s, let’s say — and its still worth considerably more than you paid, the value of your home for tax purposes is likely lower than many of your neighbors.

And in this down real estate cycle, it won’t decline as much, if at all, in taxable value.

So you are more likely to be among the taxpayers helping to fund the Beach budget shortfall.

What the easiest way to figure that out? You can look up your property on the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser website.  Search by address, and look at the market value of your property and the assessed value, as set by the appraiser. If the market value is higher than the assessed value for 2009, chances are pretty good you’ll get pinched with the tax increase. If it’s significant lower, you probably won’t.

Between now and when tax decisions are final, Miami Beach will hold two public hearings on the budget in September, and commissioners could trim the tax rate some.

It’s also important to remember that decisions made by Miami-Dade County and the School Board contribute to your overall tax bill.

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