Page 8 - Abacoa Community News - November '22
P. 8

Page 8, Abacoa
      Northern Notes

      Easements And Rights-Of-                                                                               allows anyone to travel through the subject property to
                                                                                                             A right-of-way is a broader type of easement that
      Way On Your Property                                                                                 reach another destination. Like other easements, a right-
                                                                                                           of-way agreement gives the recipient no ownership over
      By Katie Roundtree,                                                                                  your property. However, a right-of-way does not give
      Director of Finance and                                                                              the holder access to another person’s property for “use”
      Administration, Northern                                                                             of the property. A right-of-way only allows a person to
      Palm Beach County                                                                                    pass over another person’s property. Rights-of-way are
      Improvement District                                                                                 for travel purposes across the land, such as a driveway
         If you own property in                                                                            or a walkway. They do not allow you to use the land for
      Florida, you may encounter                                                                           any other reasons.
      the terms easement and                                                                                  Once an easement is created, the easement owner has
      right-of-way. Both of                                                                                the right and the duty to maintain it for its purpose unless
      them affect how you can                                                                              otherwise agreed between the easement owner and the
      use your property and the                                                                            owner of the underlying property. The easement owner can
      rights to your property.                                                                             make repairs and improvements to the easement, provided
      They are used frequently in areas where Northern Palm                                                that those repairs or modifications do not interfere with
      Beach County Improvement District has maintenance   being arrested for trespassing. An example is a drainage   the use and enjoyment of the easement by the owner of
      responsibilities. They are essential to allow the district   easement located between two homes. Within one or both   the property through which the easement exists.
      to access areas where it may not have ownership rights   parcels is a designated area where the easement holder      Please be mindful of easements on your property and
      near our facilities or waterways.                  may travel to access something on the other side. Another   keep those areas clear of personal property. Access to the
         An easement is a legal agreement that allows another   example is flowage easement which allows water from   district’s facilities is critical, especially during storm events.
      party to use the subject property for a specific purpose.   one location to travel through a water body owned by      Suppose district staff or contractors cannot get to an
      They do not give the user ownership over the property;   someone else to another.                    area needing maintenance. In that case, there could be
      they enable the user to use the subject property without      Some common easements in our area are drainage,   future unintended consequences.
                                                         water management, utility and landscape buffers. Each      NPDES tip: Dirt, oil, and debris that collect in parking
                                                         of these allows the holder to access the property for the   lots and paved areas can be washed into the storm sewer
        Town Of Jupiter News from page 7                 purpose stated. They could be a means to access a pipe,   system and eventually enter local waterbodies. Sweep up
                                                         a water body, an electrical connection, or landscaping   litter and debris from sidewalks, driveways and parking
        to invest these funds to create future affordable housing   around a facility.                     lots, especially around storm drains.
        opportunities in Jupiter.
           Since the Town is nearing buildout of its vacant
        residential properties, future opportunities to create
        affordable housing units within Jupiter will be
        increasingly more challenging.
        Governmental Fiscal Accountability
           The Town was fortunate to have its overall real
        estate  tax  base  increase  by  13.1  percent,  mostly
        attributable to property resales that occurred last year.
        Property resale events  resulted  in very significant
        increases in the taxable property valuations for those
           There are  16,243 residential units that have an
        annual 3 percent “Save Our Homes” taxable property
        valuation increases on CAP. Accordingly, I advocated
        for an offsetting 3 percent reduction in the Town’s tax
        rate. Every residential and commercial property owner
        in the Town would have benefitted by that.
           During the Sept. 22 final public hearing on the
        Fiscal Year 2023 budget, I identified revenue streams
        that were underestimated in the budget plan and
        proposed eliminating a vacant town staff position to
        enable the Town’s ad valorem rate to be reduced.
           Ultimately, the Town Council voted four to one to
        maintain a flat ad valorem tax rate that achieved a 13.1
        percent increase in total ad valorem tax revenues.
           The Town should have lowered its ad valorem
        tax rate, to do its part to limit governmental cost
        increase burdens to its residents and local businesses,
        particularly at this time with such unprecedented
        financially challenging conditions. I am not alone in
        my public service approach, as more local governments
        in Palm Beach County opted to lower their ad valorem
        tax rates this year, than I recall ever happening before.

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