Where to Find the Lowest Property Taxes in Miami?
by Sep Niakan | September 24, 2017
Most people don’t particularly love talking about property taxes. When looking for a home, buyers focus on more enjoyable aspects, like the layout, color scheme, size of the backyard, or the kitchen upgrades. Still, buyers have to pay attention to property tax rates once they start examining their budget. This guide will help you compare property tax rates in the different neighborhoods of Miami and the Miami Beaches.
Know Your Property Tax Rates
A recent Miami Herald article announced 2017’s property tax rates for neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County based on data extracted from the Florida Department of Revenue.
As indicated in the table below, there’s not too much of a difference from the lowest to the highest. However, this quickly could turn into precious hundreds or thousands if you’re looking at high-end properties. Surprisingly, at the bottom of the list is the exclusive Key Biscayne with 1.65%, while Miami Shores tops it with 2.41%.
|City||Property Tax Rate|
|City of Miami||2.18%|
|North Bay Village||2.15%|
|Bay Harbor Islands||2.04%|
|Sunny Isles Beach||1.84%|
|Unincorporated Miami-Dade County||1.79%|
How Are Property Tax Rates Calculated for Each City and Where Does All the Property Tax Money Go?
While the chart above shows tax rates as a percentage, local governments don’t set rates in this manner. They approve millage rates instead. The millage rate is defined as the amount of property tax charged per $1000 of the assessed/taxable value of a property. Suppose, the millage rate prescribed by your local government is 25 mills. This means you will be paying $25 for every $1000 of the assessed value of your property. This turns out to be 2.5% of the assessed/taxable value.
The governments (city, county, etc) determine property taxes based on their total budget needed to keep their jurisdiction running without financial issues. By figuring out how much total tax revenues they need and will create the millage rate accordingly. Typically, your property taxes will pay for parks, emergency services (fire, police), transportation, education, libraries and recreational activities. For a deeper dive into property taxes and how they are calculated, go here.
Miami-Dade county has a very nice property tax visualizer that shows you exactly where your tax money goes.
Using the county’s property tax visualizer, here is an example of a condo in Edgewater neighborhood just north of Downtown Miami.
What Affects Property Tax Rates in Different Neighborhoods?
As you may note in the above table, the economic status of a neighborhood doesn’t seem to affect property tax rates at all. The more desirable areas on the list are also the ones that enjoy a tax rate below 2%. High home values help keep rates down, so that explains lower rates in places like Key Biscayne, Bal Harbour, Miami Beach, etc.
Another, major reason behind this disparity in rates is vertical development. For one, it’s logistically easier for a city to service blocks filled with high-rise condominiums, as opposed to a town that stretches out. For instance, it is cheaper to install and maintain a sewage line servicing a 60-unit condo as opposed to 60 houses in a row. And secondly, condo complexes pack in more taxpayers than larger single family home estates.
So, a new condo development in your area could actually translate into good news for your property tax!
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