Property values slump, could lead to tax increases in Boynton Beach

2% drop in property values between 2011-12

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Two years ago John Franck bought his dream home in Boynton Beach. Now he can only watch as the property value plummets.

"They've got my market value at $437,000 which is exactly $100,000 less than what I paid for it," says Franck, looking at the website for the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser.

Slumping property values persist in Boynton Beach, they've fallen 2% this year. Although that is a relief from previous annual drops of up to 9%, it creates a chronic problem for city leaders.

In order to balance the budget, the city must raise property taxes by more than one-half percent. At last check, Steven Holzman was the lone Commissioner against the increase.

"It will be a huge uptick in property taxes and that's not including other taxes that are assessed," says Holzman.

Homeowners would see taxes go up somewhere between $50-$200 per year, businesses would see more.

Holzman says he would rather see more cuts than increases. One option is the close down Fire Station One on Boynton Beach Blvd. But getting the entire commission to agree to that he says isn't easy.

Some homeowners say they would stomach tax increases to keep services.

"I think it's necessary to increase taxes, values are down and the city is strapped," says Edward Tedtmann.

"I'd like to think the commission is working to be efficient," says Franck.

Boynton Beach is the only city in southern Palm Beach County that saw property values fall this year. City Commissioners will meet Tuesday night to decide if increasing taxes is the solution.

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