John Enck, CMS, CFE
Maintaining the county’s official map and property ownership records is one of the primary responsibilities of the Property Appraiser’s Office.
More than half a million parcels in Palm Beach County are mapped on our computerized Geographic Information System (GIS). Each receives a unique Property Control Number (PCN) to pinpoint its exact location.
The GIS is an indispensable tool for our appraisers in the assessment process. It contains more than 100 data points on each parcel, including owner names, zoning, sale date, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, price, and amount of property tax paid.
All property information is available to the public for free through our property searches and a variety of reports are available for a fee in our Public Services Department.
The map in our GIS system is the county’s official map of property ownership. You can view the aerial photo of any parcel of land in the Map Search. The parcel base map can be downloaded at no cost here: https://opendata2-pbcgov.opendata.arcgis.com/
Our aerial maps are updated every year using one of two methods:
- Aerial photography. The full county is photographed in odd-numbered years, and aerial photography for the eastern half of the county along with the three western municipalities is taken in even-numbered years.
- Oblique photography. Taken in even-numbered years, properties are photographed on an angle so all sides of a structure are visible. The cost of this photography is shared by our office and the county government.
Maintaining up-to-date information of all property ownership records and deed transfers within Palm Beach County, is one of the essential functions of the Property Appraiser’s Office.
After a property closing, (typically through an attorney and/or title company) the paperwork is then sent by the closing agent to the Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller's office for recording.
Once the County Clerk’s office has completed their procedures, the paperwork is submitted electronically to our Deed Processing division, where we begin the verification analysis for our office records.
This analysis includes verifying the chain of title, the correctness of the documents (i.e. witness signatures), and verifying the legal descriptions. On a monthly basis, our office transfers 5,000 – 6,000 deeds.
Our office then processes the deed and changes the ownership on the Property Appraiser’s records. Depending on the time of the year and number of documents, the entire process takes approximately 1-3 weeks from the time of the recording of the documents to the time the new owner's name appears on the Property Appraiser’s website.
If the ownership of non-homesteaded property has changed ownership or control after January 1 when the property was last assessed at just value, the owner must notify the Property Appraiser of the change unless a deed or other document of the change was recorded with the Clerk of the Court.
The Property Appraiser's Office provides a service for property owners who wish to combine multiple parcels into one or split one parcel into multiple properties.
Eligibility and Instructions:
Provided the properties meet the requirements of the policies and procedures set by our office, property owners may fill out the appropriate portion of the form and provide our office with the reason for the request, all property control numbers (PCNs) affected, and owner/agent contact information.
Our office works within the tax roll calendar. Once our office receives your request, the tax roll calendar will determine if your request can be completed for the current tax roll year or processed for the following year.
Please send the completed forms to:
Palm Beach County Property Appraiser
301 North Olive Avenue 5th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Or email to: MyMap@pbcpao.gov