Luke Mittner

Luke A. Mittner, MAI, MARE, CFE
Manager

Commercial properties primarily consist of retail, industrial, apartments, and office improvements, but also include a significant number of other uses such as hotels, banks, golf courses, gas stations, hospitals, auto dealerships, etc.

Three different valuation approaches may be used to appraise these properties:

  • The income approach considers the property's revenue producing potential. An income approach is developed by gathering confidential income and expense data we obtain yearly from property owners. Our income projections for market rents, operating expenses, and capitalization rates are obtained from confidential survey submissions and also from information we collect from industry reports.
  • The sales comparison approach evaluates the sale prices of similar properties. For the sales comparison approach, we gather and verify market-oriented sales data for use in our sales comparison analyses.
  • The cost approach identifies the estimated the cost to replace the property. The cost approach considers condition, quality, age, depreciation, and land value.

Given the number of commercial properties countywide, we rely on models to help us with the mass appraisal process.

Florida Statute 193.023: https://m.flsenate.gov/Statutes/193.023

Which approach to value do you put the most weight on when mass appraising a commercial property?

Our office uses three different valuation approaches to appraise commercial properties:

  • The income approach considers the property's revenue producing potential.
  • The sales comparison approach evaluates the sale prices of similar properties.
  • The cost approach identifies the estimated the cost to replace the property.

Generally, commercial properties are appraised using our CAMA system’s cost approach model, which is influenced and calibrated based on sales of comparable properties. Some income producing properties are also homogeneous enough that a mass income appraisal model can be applied. Like the CAMA cost approach, the mass income models are influenced and calibrated based on comparable sales.

The approach used depends on the property type and use. Utterly unique facilities may only be appraised using the cost approach. Properties few comparable facilities and little data on sales of similar properties may be appraised using the income approach. Properties of a specific type that have numerous sales data may be appraised using the sales comparison approach.

Given the number of commercial properties countywide, we rely on models to help us with the mass appraisal process.


How can I get a commercial spring mailer, if I did not receive one in the mail or need another copy?

Email MyCommercial@pbcpao.gov or speak with an appraiser at 561.355.3988.


Can I mail in my evidence packet for my commercial petition?

Yes, we do accept evidence in the mail or via email that we can send to the Value Adjustment Board. But it’s much faster to upload your evidence packet straight to the Value Adjustment Board’s website for your commercial petition, since it is required for all petition information to be accessible on the Clerk of Courts’ VAB website.


How do I find the square feet dimensions of a commercial condo unit?

Search for the commercial condo building and then, on the property detail page, scroll to Property Information. Click “View Building Details.” Under the Extra Feature heading, there is a category called “Units.” The number under “Units” is the square footage of the commercial condo unit.


I own a commercial property in Boynton Beach. Why are my non-ad valorem taxes so high?

The city of Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach and Boca Raton have a special Fire Rescue Assessment that is determined by USE and square footage. This fire assessment on commercial property can be substantial, even exceeding $10,000 for some properties.

What is the difference between market value, assessed value, and taxable value?

Every parcel of real property has a just value, an assessed value, and a taxable value.

The just value is the property’s market value.

The assessed value is the just value minus assessment limitations like the 3% or 10% Save Our Homes cap. More information on the Save Our Homes cap»

The taxable value is the assessed value minus exemptions and is the value the tax collector uses to calculate the taxes due. More information on exemptions»


Why did my taxes go up?

Property taxes have two components: the value of your property and the tax rate.

The value of your property is impacted by:

  • Changes in assessed value, as of January 1
  • Changes in applied exemptions
  • Changes in applied caps

The other half of your tax bill is the millage, the tax rate that is set by your county, city, or other agency with taxing authority.

If property values rise and tax rates stay the same, tax bills could increase. If property values stay the same and tax rates rise, tax bills could increase. If either half of the equation decreases, tax bills could decrease.


Why are my taxes higher than the previous owner’s?

When the property changes ownership, Florida law requires the property appraiser to remove exemptions and reassess the property so the assessed value equals the just or market value. This takes effect on January 1 after the property is purchased.

The assessments of homesteaded properties are capped at a maximum of 3% per year and non-homestead properties are capped at 10% per year. The cap starts in the year following purchase, so the previous owner may have purchased their home many years ago, resulting in a significant cap savings. More information on the Save Our Homes cap»

Exemptions move with the property owner and do not stay with a property. So any exemption the previous owners may have enjoyed go with them to their next property. More information on exemptions»


Why are my taxes higher than my neighbor’s, since we have the same type of property?

Your home may be similar - or even identical - to your neighbor’s, however, the values and the taxes can be very different for a number of reasons.

The assessments of homesteaded properties are capped at a maximum of 3% per year and non-homestead properties are capped at 10% per year. The cap starts in the year following purchase, so your neighbor may have purchased their home at a different time than you, resulting in a different capped value. More information on the Save Our Homes cap»

In addition, Florida property owners can “port” their cap savings from one homestead to another, which also impacts assessed value and taxes. More information on portability»

Lastly, your neighbor may be benefiting from certain exemptions that also lower taxable value and ultimately, taxes paid. More information on exemptions»

A better comparison between similar properties is market value, which is not impacted by caps or exemptions.


Why did my market value go up more than 3%?

The 3% homestead cap and 10% cap for non-homesteaded properties applies to the assessed value and not the market value.

Market value is our estimate of what your property would sell for and there is no limitation on how much that value can be increased from year to year.

Assessed value is the capped value that cannot go up more than 3% for homesteaded properties and 10% for non-homesteaded properties. The assessed value minus any exemptions will then give you the taxable value. More information on the Save Our Homes cap»


What are my options if I disagree with my valuation?

Property owners who disagree with their property assessment or feel they should not have denied an exemption may:

  • Contact our office for an informal review of the matter - Our office encourages property owners to contact us regarding their concerns prior to filing a petition. In preparation for this discussion, records on your property are available by searching this website at or calling us at 561.355.3230.
  • File a petition for adjustment with the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) - The VAB is administered by the Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office, which is independent of the Property Appraiser’s Office. If the matter cannot be resolved, you can file a petition with the VAB. You may visit the Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller’s VAB website: https://www.mypalmbeachclerk.com/departments/value-adjustment-board-vab for online petition filing.
  • Both of the above

How can I estimate what my tax bill will be?

To determine what your property taxes may be, simply search for the property. At the bottom of the property detail page, you’ll see a “Property Tax Calculator” button. Enter your purchase price and whether or not you intend to homestead the property, and the calculator will give you a property tax estimate.


Are my taxes going to go up?

Property taxes have two components: the value of your property and the tax rate.

The value of your property is determined by our office, which is bound by law to fairly and accurately assess the value of real and personal property based on the status of the market as of January 1.

The other half of your tax bill is the millage, the tax rate that is set by your county, city, or other agency with taxing authority. Each taxing authority, whether a city or a special district, is led by elected officials who answer to the voters.

If property values rise and tax rates stay the same, tax bills could increase. If property values stay the same and tax rates rise, tax bills could increase. If either half of the equation decreases, tax bills could decrease.


Why can’t I find my address through the property search?

Our search uses predictive suggestions, so type slowly, and you should eventually see your property suggested by the search.

Because of this feature, the search does not function well when copying/pasting addresses.


How often are properties valued?

The Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s office (and property appraisers who are governed by the Florida Constitution and Statutes) determine the assessed value of each parcel of property as of January 1.


How did you know I had/am having work done?

Our office has created a Permit Portal with local municipalities so that we can access building permits in a timely fashion. Additionally, we physically inspect every property at least every five years and note any significant changes that have been made.


Why does the property appraiser need to physically come to my property?

Per Florida Statute 193.023 (2), our office must conduct a physical inspection at least every five years through on-site visits or aerial photography to review any improvements on site.


Can we see a sketch of our property?

Most sketches we have for a property are available on this website by searching for a property. There are some commercial property sketches that were originally drawn using Autocad (no longer used), which have not yet been converted to our current sketch system. These sketches can be emailed in PDF format upon request.


How do I change my mailing address associated with my property?

Why does this property show a zero assessment?

If you are searching for a newly created (split or joined) parcel, there will be no history to display. Therefore, previous year’s data may display as zeros.


How do I find the PCN for a specific property?

You can search for a property by name or address. Once you’ve found the property, the Parcel Control Number, or PCN is the third item listed on the property detail page.


How is this property zoned? How do I find the zoning district for my property?

While our office strives to keep our records current, the best source of this information is the planning and zoning department. For properties located within city limits, contact the city’s Planning, Zoning, and Building Department (contact list here). For properties in unincorporated Palm Beach County, contact the Palm Beach County Planning, Zoning, and Building Department at 561.233.5000.


When was the roof last replaced on the improvements?

While our office strives to keep our records current, the best source of this information is the local permit department. PBC Municipality Permit Departments»


I don’t have homestead, but the value of my property is subject to the Save Our Homes cap. Why did my taxes go up more than 10%?

Property taxes have two components: the value of your property and the tax rate.

While the assessed values non-homestead properties are capped at 10% per year, the school tax is based on the market value of the property, and not subject to the 10% cap.

In addition, the other half of your tax bill, the millage, could also increase. This could also cause tax bills to rise more than 10%.

More information on the Save Our Homes cap»