23 Palm Beach estates’ property-tax bills top $1M. Take a look. – Palm Beach Daily News

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Palm Beach has more homeowners than ever before who have been billed at least $1 million in local property taxes for 2023, according to a new analysis by the Palm Beach Daily News of the just-finalized tax rolls.

A staggering 23 residential taxpayers have found a spot in what the Palm Beach Daily News has dubbed “The Million-Dollar Taxpayers Club,” according to the tax rolls certified in October,


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Those tax bills are a direct response to the unexpected consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, which created a a jet-fueled real estate market in uber-wealthy Palm Beach that sent sale prices and home values soaring over the past 3½ years. A similar upward trajectory applies to the town’s property taxes, which are directly tied to home values. 

In pre-pandemic 2019, by comparison, just seven Palm Beach property owners found themselves billed for more than $1 million in property taxes — and that was a record-setting number at the time.

But some things haven’t changed in the latest list of the top taxpayers, which can be found at the end of this article.

Once again, hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin of Citadel LLC and Citadel Securities dominates — by far — the highest-taxed list. It’s been the same story since he began assembling his Palm Beach estate in 2012, eventually spending more than $500 million on adjacent properties, according to the latest Palm Beach Daily News’ estimates. 

This year, Griffin’s mostly vacant estate of about 27 ocean-to-lake acres on the South End has generated a combined tax bill of $10.12 million for the 2023 tax rolls. His estate’s overall market value was listed as $725.82 million.

Griffin, who lives in Miami, has raised the bar each year since he began buying land in Palm Beach. 

FROM THE 2019 ARCHIVES:Fifty-nine Palm Beach owners billed at least $500,000 in local property taxes for 2019, a new record

Palm Beach County Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks, whose office prepares the tax rolls, said she is becoming more and more accustomed to seeing Palm Beach real estate values set new records. 

“I happily say that nothing surprises me in the Palm Beach real estate market anymore. Palm Beach is a special place, possibly unique in the country, possibly in the world,” Jacks said. “People (in Palm Beach) are willing to pay for their piece of paradise.” 

Palm Beach County Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks.

In addition to the Palm Beach property owners who were billed at least $1 million in the new tax rolls, 10 others are facing bills between $900,000 and $1 million. And another 13 saw their properties generate bills of between $800,000 and $900,000. 

In all, 104 Palm Beach taxpayers were mailed bills for $500,000 or more, the Daily News’ analysis found. In 2019, just 59 property owners were in that tax category. 

The Palm Beach couple who ranked second on the taxpayer list are leveraged-buyout tycoon Nelson Peltz — chairman of the board of the Wendy’s fast-food chain — and his wife, Claudia. They were billed $3.07 million for their 13-acre oceanfront property, a North End estate they began assembling in 1987.

In third place — with a bill of $2.46 million — are investment manager Lewis Sanders and his wife, Alice, who completed their oceanfront mansion in 2021 on a lot they had owned since 2005

MAR-A-LAGO MISTAKE:Oops! Eric Trump denies Mar-a-Lago sold for $422 million; Zillow admits listing error

And where does former President Donald Trump and his Mar-a-Lago Club rank on the list? He is among the 20 other top taxpayers in town whose bills total between $1 million and $2 million. 

Trump’s Palm Beach bills — for his club, three adjacent private houses and an adjacent vacant parcel — tallied at $1.25 million in the new tax rolls, land the former president in 13th place on the list. 

Mar-a-Lago’s assessed value has become the stuff of controversy, thanks to a civil-court case playing out in New York. A judge there has said Trump consistently misled banks, insurance companies and other entities by vastly overvaluing his properties, including his private club in Palm Beach. 

Trump, on the other hand, has variously claimed Mar-a-Lago is worth a minimum of $420 million and maybe as much as $1.5 billion, thanks to its historic mansion-turned-clubhouse on 17-and-a-half acres of ocean-to-lake land. 

The judge based his valuation of the club on valuations — assigned by the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser — that are the starting point for determining any property’s taxes. The court looked at a range of the club’s valuations, from $18 million in 2011 to $27.6 million in 2021.  

The property appraisers’ staff determined the club’s values using a standard formula called the “income approach,” a process dictated by longstanding deed restrictions that prevent Mar-a-Lago from being redeveloped or used for any purpose other than a private club, Chief Appraiser Cecil Jackson in Jacks’ office has told the Palm Beach Daily News. The club’s appraised value is then “capitalized” from its net income, as reported to the county appraiser in confidential documents. 

This year, the income approach yielded an appraised value of $37 million for The Mar-a-Lago Club, according to the tax rolls. The club’s tax bill came in at a little less than $600,000. 

JUST HOW VALUABLE IS MAR-A-LAGO?How much is Trump’s Mar-a-Lago worth? It depends on who you’re asking

In addition to Trump, other well-known names in The Million-Dollar Taxpayers Club include radio shock jock Howard Stern, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and Philadelphia Phillies principal owner John S. Middleton. 

Yet even with such big-dollar tax bills, Palm Beach specifically and Florida in general continue to appeal to residents of states where the tax picture is far harsher, especially in the wake of the tax-reform package passed by Congress in late 2017, which eliminated the federal deduction for state and local taxes. Florida residents also benefit, comparatively, from the lack of a state income tax, a relatively low sales tax and the state’s limited tax on intangible property. 

Palm Beach officials, meanwhile, actually lowered the town’s own tax rate this year by about 3% from 2022. In September, the Town Council set that rate at about $2.61 per $1,000 of a property’s taxable value

But the town’s portion makes up only a little more than 17% of each taxpayer’s total bill, which this year has an overall rate of $15.01 per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value after factoring in exemptions or tax caps for which a property owner might be eligible. 

Other taxes are set by Palm Beach County and the School District of Palm Beach County, along with five other taxing authorities and districts. The tax revenue helps pay for town and county government services, schools, the South Florida Water Management District, the Children’s Services Council and services provided by other taxing authorities. 

As they have done consistently over the past several years, town officials set Palm Beach’s tax rate so that property owners with homestead exemptions would see no increase in their tax bills. Homestead exemptions are granted to residents who declare their homes to be their primary residences by meeting certain criteria.

Under Florida law, the assessed value that’s used to figure taxes for homesteaded properties typically can increase no more than 3% a year. The state statute also caps annual valuation increases at 10% percent for properties without homestead exemptions. 

The vast majority of the taxpayers in The Million-Dollar Taxpayers Club, however, did not homestead their estates in the new tax rolls. Just six are taking a homestead exemption, records show.

The actual tax rate applied to the properties doesn’t include assessments for solid waste removal and an ongoing town-run project to bury utility lines in Palm Beach. But the latter assessments are included in the final tax figures used to compile the Pam Beach Daily News’ list of taxpayers with the highest bills. 

County Tax Collector Anne M. Gannon mailed the bills during the last week of October.

Look who’s in ‘The Million-Dollar Taxpayers Club’

Here’s the list of Palm Beach estate owners who have been billed at least $1 million in Palm Beach County property taxes for 2023. Total market values are based on the property appraiser’s evaluation for each property on Jan. 1, 2023. The list is presented in descending order of the tax bills.

1. Kenneth C. Griffin, hedge-fund manager 

A photo taken a few years ago shows only a portion of hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin's 25-acre ocean-to-lake estate on Billionaires Row in Palm Beach. The six properties that comprise the estate have generated 2023 tax bills totaling $10.12 million.

Tax: $10.12 million 

1265 S. Ocean Blvd. (includes adjacent 1247 S. Ocean Blvd.; 1285 S. Ocean Blvd.; 1295 S. Ocean Blvd. and a vacant lot; and 1330 S. Ocean Blvd.; all owned through limited liability companies) 

Total Market Value: $725.82 million

Taxable Value: $629.75 million 

 2. Nelson Peltz, leveraged-buyout mogul, and wife Claudia 

At 548 N. County Road in Palm Beach, Nelson and Claudia Peltz's Montsorrel comprises more than 13 acres with three separately taxed properties on either side of the coastal road. The 2023 tax bill is $3.07 million.

Tax: $3.07 million 

548 N. County Road (includes 542 N. County Road and a non-addressed property; all owned by and with homestead exemptions in the Peltzes’ names) 

Total Market Value: $333.9 million 

Taxable Value (with homestead exemptions): $147.8 million 

3. Lewis Sanders, investment manager, and wife Alice 

A rendering submitted to the town during an architectural review shows the house ultimately completed in 2021 by Lewis and Alice Sanders at 615 N. County Road in Palm Beach. The Sanders' property tax bill for 2023 is $2.45 million.

Tax: $2.45 million 

615 N. County Road (owned by the Sanderses in their names) 

Total Market Value: $173.99 million 

Taxable Value: $153.2  million 

4. Steven Schonfeld, hedge-fund manager, and wife Brooke 

An oceanfront mansion at 1415 S. Ocean Blvd in Palm Beach has generated a property tax bill for 2023 of $1.81 million. The property is seen here in a photo taken several years ago.

Tax: $1.81 million 

1415 S. Ocean Blvd. (owned through a trust; homesteaded in Brooke Schonfeld’s name) 

Total Market Value: $207.81 million 

Taxable Value (with homestead exemption): $119.6 million 

5. Scott Shleifer, private-equity specialist, and wife Elena 

A house completed in 2021 at 535 N. County Road in Palm Beach is seen in a rendering submitted during its architectural review. The house and a nearby smaller house are owned by entities controlled by Scott Shleifer. Their 2023 tax bills total $1.72 million.

Tax: $1.72 million 

535 N. County Road (includes a house at 210 Tangier Ave., owned through a trust and a limited liability company; 535 N. County Road is homesteaded in name of 535 NCR Land Trust) 

Total Market Value: $116.86 million 

Taxable Value: $112.81 million 

6. John Paulson, hedge-fund manager 

John Paulson has this ocean-to-lake Palm Beach estate at 1840 S. Ocean Blvd. homesteaded in the latest Palm Beach County tax rolls. Its 2023 tax bill is $1.71 million. (Credit: Brian Lee, courtesy Atlas Media LLC)

Tax: $1.71 million 

1840 S. Ocean Blvd. (owned through a trust; homesteaded in Paulson’s name) 

Total Market Value: $113.69 million 

Taxable Value (with homestead exemption): $113.64 million 

7. Henry Kravis, businessman and investor, and wife Marie-Josée Drouin 

The Palm Beach lakeside estate of Henry Kravis, 700 N. Lake Way, has generated a 2023 tax bill of $1.62 million. The property is seen here in a photo taken several years ago.

Tax: $1.62 million 

700 N. Lake Way (owned through a limited liability company) 

Total Market Value: $107.02 million 

Taxable Value: $107.02 million 

8. Linda Saville and homebuilder husband Paul

A rendering reviewed by the Palm Beach Architectural Commission shows an oceanfront house completed in 2020 and built for Linda and Paul Saville at 515 N. County Road. The property's tax bill for 2023 is $1.6 million.

Tax: $1.6 million 

515 N. County Road (owned through a trust; homesteaded in Linda Saville’s name) 

Total Market Value: $123.89 million 

Taxable Value (with homestead exemption): $106.24 million 

9. Stephen Schwarzman, private-equity specialist, and wife Christine 

Stephen A. and Christine Schwarzman's landmarked house, Four Winds, stands at 1768 S. Ocean Blvd. They also own a vacant lot of 3 acres next door at 1800 S. Ocean Blvd. The properties' tax bills for 2023 total about $1.55 million.

Tax: $1.55 million 

1768 S. Ocean Blvd. (includes adjacent lot at 1800 S. Ocean Blvd.; each owned through a limited liability company) 

Total Market Value: $129.9 million 

Taxable Value: $81.87 million 

A rendering presented to the town's architectural review panel shows an oceanfront guesthouse designed for a vacant lot at 1800 S. Ocean Blvd., which is part of Stephen Schwarzman's estate. The lot and the Schwarzman house next door are taxed, combined, at $1.55 million the latest Palm Beach County tax rolls.

10. 1341 South Ocean Boulevard Trust 

The estate in the center nearest the ocean is 1341 S. Ocean Blvd., which has generated a tax bill of $1.45 million in the latest tax rolls.

Tax: $1.45 million 

1341 S. Ocean Blvd. (owned through a trust, with attorney Ronald S. Kochman as trustee) 

Total Market Value: $98.62 million 

Taxable Value (with homestead exemption): $96.3 million 

11. Howard Stern, radio shock jock and television host, and wife Beth Ostrosky 

Radio shock jock Howard Stern and wife Beth Ostrosky reside seasonally at this oceanfront estate at 601 N. County Road. Its ownership company is facing a 2023 property tax bill of $1.38 million.

Tax: $1.38 million 

601 N. County Road (owned through a limited liability company) 

Total Market Value: $109.24 million 

Taxable Value: $77.84 million 

12. Susie Phipps Cochran, artist 

An aerial photo shows the house known as Casa Phippsberger at 441 N. Lake Way in Palm Beach. The multiple parcels that comprise the estate have generated a property tax bill totaling $1.33 million.

Tax: $1.33 million 

441 N. Lake Way (comprises 10 adjacent properties in Phipps Estates; owned through a corporation) 

Total Market Value: $119.98 million 

Taxable Value: $64.16 million 

13. Donald Trump, former president and real estate investor, and Melania Trump, former first lady 

At 1100 S. Ocean Blvd. in Palm Beach, former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club and three adjacent Trump-owned houses have generated property-tax bills totaling about $1.25 million in the new 2023 tax rolls.

Tax: $1.25 million 

1100 S. Ocean Blvd. (The Mar-a-Lago Club, plus adjacent houses at 1094 S. Ocean Blvd., 124 Woodbridge Road and 1125 S. Ocean Blvd., including a non-addressed parcel on South Ocean Boulevard; owned by a corporation and limited liability companies) 

Total Market Value: $89.27 million 

Taxable Value: $69.46 million 

14. Julia Koch, widow of industrialist and Koch Industries co-chief, and family 

Facing a 2023 property tax bill of $1.22 million, this oceanfront estate at 150 S. Ocean Blvd. is the home of seasonal resident Julia Koch, whose late husband was industrialist David Koch.

150 S. Ocean Blvd. (owned through a trust) 

Tax: $1.22 million 

Total Market Value: $116.71 million 

Taxable Value: $53.75 million

15. Tommy Hilfiger and wife Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger, fashion designers 

Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and his wife, Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger, have extensively renovated their ocean-to-lake estate at 1930 S. Ocean Blvd. in Palm Beach, viewed here from across the Intracoastal Waterway. The estate generated a property tax bill in the 2023 tax rolls of $1.17 million.

1930 S. Ocean Blvd.

Tax: $1.17 million 

19 S. Ocean Blvd. (owned through a trust) 

Total Market Value: $78.4 million 

Taxable Value (with homestead exemption): $77.72 million 

16. 10 Tarpon Island LLC 

A digitally enhanced rendering presented to the Landmarks Preservation Commission shows the now-completed renovation-and-expansion project of a 1940s-era house at 10 Tarpon Isle, foreground, on Palm Beach's only private island. Its property tax bill for 2023 is $1.16 million.

Tax: $1.16 million 

10 Tarpon Isle (owned by a limited liability company managed by developer Todd Michael Glaser with investors Jonathan Fryd and Scott Robins) 

Total Market Value: $76.91 million

Taxable Value: $76.91 million  

17. 901 NOPB Trust 

An aerial photo shows an oceanfront house built in 2020 at 901 N. Ocean Blvd. in Palm Beach. The property has generated a property tax bill for 2023 of $1.12 million.

Tax: $1.12 million 

901 N. Ocean Blvd. (owned by trust, with attorney Paul A. Krasker as trustee) 

Total Market Value: $74.31 million 

Taxable Value: $74.31 million 

18. Oceanside Palms Estate Corp.

An aerial photo shows the oceanfront estate at 641 N. County Road in Palm Beach, which has generated a 2023 property tax bill of $1.11 million.

Tax: $1.11 million 

641 N. County Road (owned by a corporation, for which attorney Mario Gazzola serves as president) 

Total Market Value: $84.05 million 

Taxable Value: $65.4 million

19. Barbara Picower, widow of investor Jeffry M. Picower 

Tax: $1.08 million 

1410 S. Ocean Blvd. (owned by Barbara Picower in her name) 

Total Market Value: $81.19 million 

Taxable Value: $64.35 million 

20. John S. Middleton, businessman and Philadelphia Phillies principal owner, and wife Leigh 

Philadelphia Phillies principal owner John S. Middleton and his wife, Leigh, use this seaside mansion at 947 N. Ocean Blvd. for seasonal visits to Palm Beach. The estate's 2023 property tax bill came in at $1.07 million.

Tax: $1.07 million 

947 N. Ocean Blvd. (owned by a limited liability company)

Total Market Value: $94.41 million 

Taxable Value: $53.72 million  

21. Lamia Jacobs, businesswoman and former oil trader, and hedge-fund manager husband Bradley 

An oceanfront residence at 100 Emerald Beach Way in Palm Beach is seen in a photo taken several years ago. The mansion has generated a 2023 property tax bill of $1.03 million.

Tax: $1.03 million

100 Emerald Beach Way (owned through a limited liability company controlled by Lamia Jacobs)

Total Market Value: $82.04 million 

Taxable Value: $58.18 million 

22. Thompson Dean, private-equity specialist, and wife Caroline 

A Mediterranean-style estate at 1485 S. Ocean Blvd. in Palm Beach is the primary home of Dean and Caroline Thompson, tax records show. The property's 2023 tax bill is $1.02 million.

Tax: $1.02 million  

1485 S. Ocean Blvd. (owned by and with homestead exemptions in the Thompsons’ names) 

Total Market Value: $67.84 million 

Taxable Value (with homestead exemptions): $67.79 million 

23. Paul Tudor Jones II, hedge-fund manager, and wife Sonia 

The landmarked beachfront estate known as Casa Apava is at 1300 S. Ocean Blvd. and is owned by Paul Tudor Jones II. The estate's 2023 property tax bill is $1.01 million.

Tax: $1.01 million 

1300 S. Ocean Blvd. (owned by and with a homestead exemption in Paul Tudor Jones II’s name) 

Total Market Value: $159.97 million 

Taxable Value (with homestead exemption): $67.38 million 

How we compiled our list of highest-taxed estates in Palm Beach  

The list of Palm Beach estates with 2023 tax bills of more than $1 million was compiled by the Palm Beach Daily News from data posted on the Palm Beach County Tax Collector and Property Appraiser’s websites and other sources. Total market values are based on the property appraiser’s evaluation for each property on Jan. 1, 2023. 

Some estates comprise multiple parcels that are taxed separately in the county’s tax rolls. In those cases, the amount of the tax listed is the total for the properties involved. The list only includes such an estate if the separate parcels are adjacent or very near each other. Otherwise, the list does not highlight property owners who simply own more than one home in Palm Beach.

Every effort has been made to provide the names of owners whose identities are cloaked in public records behind corporate entities or trusts. Ownership information is drawn from property records, courthouse records and other resources. Properties with homestead exemptions also have been noted. 

Tax bills were mailed during the last week of October and have a due date of March 31, 2024. County property owners are eligible for a discount if they pay their bills in full by the end of February. Those who pay before the end of November earn a 4% discount, which drops by 1% each month through February. 

Property owners had until mid-September to file a dispute regarding the assigned valuation of their properties. 

If you think we missed a Palm Beach estate with a total tax bill of $1 million or more, email [email protected].

*

Darrell Hofheinz is a USA TODAY Network of Florida journalist who writes about Palm Beach real estate in his weekly “Beyond the Hedges” column. He welcomes tips about real estate news on the island. Email [email protected], call 561-820-3831 or tweet @PBDN_Hofheinz. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.

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