There was no change to the property tax rate in Jupiter, but a homeowner likely will pay slightly higher property taxes next year because of an increase in property values.
A home with an assessed value of $350,000 and a homestead exemption of $50,000 this year paid a property tax bill of about $739. That same property owner’s bill under the same evaluation next year would be $757.
The vote was 3-2, with Vice Mayor Wayne Posner and Councilman Jim Kuretski dissenting.
The property tax rate does not include debt service, school, fire-rescue and county taxes and special taxing districts, such as the Jupiter Inlet District.
Next year’s proposed new annual operating budget for Jupiter is about $89 million. That’s an increase from this year’s annual $84 million budget.
The dozen new hires include three for the police department, one for engineering, one for planning and zoning, three camp counselors in recreation, two for building, one for information systems and one for the water department.
The council also approved spending about $85,000 for two license plate recognition camera systems by the police department.
The unmanned, portable gadgets are mounted on trailers. They automatically record vehicle tags and enter them into state and federal crime information database, which scans the plate numbers to see if they are wanted in crime investigations.
Information about tags that are linked to stolen vehicles, missing or endangered persons or any other suspicious activity will be relayed to police.
Palm Beach, Manalapan, Riviera Beach, Juno Beach, Tequesta and North Palm Beach use license plate readers.
Jupiter police already have LPRs in their vehicles. The new devices can be left outside and do not need a police officer to operate them.
The $85,000 purchase price comes from the police department’s $21 million annual budget.