Page 8 - Jupiter West- November '23
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Page 8, Jupiter West
      Commissioner’s Update

      Budgeting To Reduce Your                             Property  taxes  make  up  roughly  25  percent  of  the   significant reserves helps us maintain a AAA rating,
                                                         operating budget and public safety takes up the largest
                                                                                                           which is the highest credit designation assigned to bond
      Tax Burden                                         portion. Departments covering airports and water utilities   issuers by rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s and
                                                         are enterprise funds, not funded primarily by property taxes.   Fitch. Reserves enable us to respond to emergencies and
      By Commissioner                                    Per Florida Statutes, the other funds on the balance sheet   unanticipated expenditures without chipping away at services
      Maria Marino                                       include the general fund, special revenue funds restricted or   residents rely on.
        Preparing a balanced                             committed to a specific purpose, debt service funds, capital     Of  the  total  gross  budget  of  $7.9  billion,  projected
      county budget takes more                           projects, and internal services.                  total property tax revenue is $1.9 billion. Approximately
      than covering expenditures                           With a population of just over 1.5 million, nearly half of   72 percent of the property tax revenue is for the general
      with revenues. It requires a                       our residents live in the unincorporated area.    fund to provide the budget for the sheriff and other
      focus on providing essential                         After 11 years with a millage rate of 4.7815, the commission   constitutional officers, judicial facilities and technology,
      services to  our  residents,                       last year approved a reduction to 4.715, the rate applied to   county departments, capital projects, agency partners who
      from  garbage pickup and                           each $1,000 of taxable property value. As new residents have   assist the public, and to community development agencies
      disposal, to striping roads, to                    continued to make Palm Beach County their home, tax revenue   that reinvest in their infrastructure. The remaining 28 percent
      assisting low-income elderly                       has increased at a rate of more than 13 percent over the past   pays for fire rescue, libraries and debt service.
      folks keep their utilities on,                     year. With more money coming into the county coffers, I     Feedback from the District 1 communities has made it
      to preserving our beaches and natural areas. We must use   proposed and achieved unanimous consent from the Board   clear that reducing the county tax rate is a trend we need to
      precision to create efficiencies and eliminate any waste in   to approve a further reduction in the millage rate this year to   follow.
      our budget in the interest of lessening the tax burden on the   4.50 mils, so that taxpayers can realize more savings.    Thank you all for your continued input and please feel free
      property owners in this community and helping households     This reduction allows us to keep a hefty level of reserve   to contact me at (561) 355-2201 or by email at mmarino@
      make ends meet.                                    funds. The county’s conservative approach to keeping
      Don’t Forget To Tell Them How To Share

      Submitted by Anné                                  beneficiaries can discuss what to do with the item. This allows     Call our office today at (561) 694-7827, Elder & Estate
      Desormier-Cartwright,                              beneficiaries to identify items that need to be discussed while   Planning Attorneys PA, 480 Maplewood Drive, Suite 3,
      Esq.                                               quickly dividing items that are not in contention.  Jupiter, FL 33458.
        Personal property can be                         Sell Everything And Divide Proceeds                 The content of this article is general and should not be
      an important part of many                            Sometimes, when more than one person wants something,   relied upon without review of your specific circumstances
      people’s lives. Whether it is                      there is just no compromise or solution. In these situations,   by competent legal counsel. Reliance on the information
      something that has monetary                        you could sell the item and divide the proceeds. While this   herein is at your own risk, as it expresses no opinion by
      value or something that you                        may not be a desirable solution, sometimes there is no other   the firm on your specific circumstances or legal needs.
      have collected for many                            way. Unfortunately, this method only works well with items   An attorney client relationship is not created through the
      years, certain items hold                          of high monetary value. Purely sentimental items may not be   information provided herein.
      a significant place in your                        worth much, in which case an alternate method may be needed.    To comply with the U.S. Treasury regulations, we must
      heart. Figuring out what to                        Need Help? Bounce Your Ideas Off Of Us            inform you that (i) any U.S. federal tax advice contained
      do with these items when you are no longer around to enjoy     We understand that this can be an emotional and time-  in this newsletter was not intended or written to be used,
      them can be quite the task. This is especially true if you have   consuming experience. We are happy to help you think   and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of
      multiple loved ones who you would like to receive your   through the available options and draft instructions that fit   avoiding U.S. federal tax penalties that may be imposed
      personal property. Without your instructions, this situation   your unique situation and convey what is most important to   on such person and (ii) each taxpayer should seek advice
      might turn into a disaster. People may start fighting or hiring   you. Give us a call to discuss different options and select the   from their tax advisor based on the taxpayer’s particular
      lawyers to sue each other to determine what is rightfully   one that is right for you.               circumstances.
      theirs. You can help prevent this from happening by providing
      your loved ones with instructions. The following are some
      ways you can divide your personal property to help maintain
      harmony among your loved ones.
      Draw Numbers And Take Turns Choosing
        One method for dividing personal property, especially if
      you have a large collection of similar items, is to have each
      beneficiary draw a number and have them take turns choosing
      items in sequential order starting with the person who drew
      number 1. Once the last person chooses, the person who drew
      number 1 can start the next round. (Example: Round 1: 1, 2,
      3, 4; Round 2: 1, 2, 3, 4; Round 3: 1, 2, 3, 4)
        To mix things up a bit, once everyone has had an
      opportunity to make their first selection, the person who drew
      the largest number can start the second round, continuing
      in reverse sequential order. For the third round, the person
      who drew number 1 can start, and the selections continue in
      sequential order. (Example: Round 1: 1, 2, 3, 4; Round 2: 4,
      3, 2, 1; Round 3: 1, 2, 3, 4)
        Alternatively, after choosing sequentially in the first
      round, the person who drew number 2 can start the second
      round, and the selections continue in sequential order, ending
      with the person who drew number 1. Number 3 starts the
      third round and the selections continue in a similar pattern.
      (Example: Round 1: 1, 2, 3, 4; Round 2: 2, 3, 4, 1; Round 3:
      3, 4, 1, 2)
      Number Items For A Drawing
        This process can work if you have many items of similar
      value. Instead of having the beneficiaries figure out who gets
      what, they could leave the decision up to chance. With this
      method, all items that are to be distributed are numbered, and
      a set of corresponding numbers are placed in a hat or bowl.
      The participants then choose a number and get the item that
      matches their number.
      Auction With Fake Money
        If there is an item that more than one person wants, one
      way to solve this is through an auction. During the auction,
      each participant is allotted an equal amount of fake money.
      Then, each item is presented in a random order, and the
      participants bid on the items they want. The highest bid wins.
      This helps ensure that the person who wants it the most gets
      it, but it also means that people may not receive the same
      monetary value.
      Use Stickers To Stake Claim
        Another way to divide personal property is to give each
      beneficiary the same number of colored stickers (with each
      person getting a different color) and have them place stickers on
      the items they want. If an item has only one sticker, the person
      who chose it gets the item. If an item has multiple stickers,
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