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FAQ: Public Funds

Palm Beach County Public Service Tax on
Propane Gas, Natural Gas, and Electricity

Public Service Tax - (561) 355-3457 or (561) 355-3386

Why do I have to pay the Public Service Tax?

Pursuant to Section 166.231 of the Florida Statutes, Palm Beach County imposed a Public Service Tax in the unincorporated areas of the county. The Palm Beach County Commission adopted and approved County Ordinance 89-13 on July 18, 1989. Chapter 17, Article VI of the Palm Beach County Code established the procedures to ensure that all taxes are collected for propane gas, natural gas and electricity within the unincorporated limits of the county.

As a seller of propane gas, you do not pay the Public Service Tax on the propane gas yourself.  The seller charges and collects the 10% tax from customers who purchase propane or natural gas and electricity. 

How do I calculate the Public Service Tax?

Calculate the Palm Beach County Public Service tax by adding 10% to your price of propane gas, natural gas, or electricity, in addition to the 6.0% for sales tax.  The following is a hypothetical example of the calculation involved:

Assumption: Hypothetical selling price of propane gas is $21.99 per tank.

Sales Tax calculation:                             $21.99 x .060 = $1.32
PBC Public Service Tax calculation:     $21.99 x .10  =  $2.20
Total added tax collected                                                     $3.52

The total price the customer would pay is $21.99 + 1.32+ 2.20 =$25.51.  

The $2.20 Palm Beach County Public Service Tax, which is charged and collected by the seller, would then be remitted to Palm Beach County for transactions occurring in the unincorporated area of the county. If the transaction occurs in a municipality, the tax should be remitted to that municipality at the appropriate tax rate. Some municipalities have a different tax rate than 10%.

How do I remit the Public Service Tax?

If the seller resides and sells propane gas, natural gas, or electricity, or makes delivery of such goods to a purchaser residing within the unincorporated area of Palm Beach County, the seller would remit all Public Service Tax collected at the end of each month by a check made payable to Palm Beach County Commissioners along with a completed copy of the Palm Beach County Public Service Tax Remittance Form by the 15th day of the next month.  Any payments or remittances received after the 15th will be considered late.

If the seller resides in and sells propane gas, natural gas or electricity within a municipality (village or city), the seller would remit all Public Service Tax collected at the end of each month by check to that municipality. You can check with the municipality concerned whether or not it is a participant in the collection of the Palm Beach County Public Service Tax on propane gas, natural gas or electricity.

How do I know if my business resides in or is selling within the unincorporated area of Palm Beach County?

If your business location address is in the unincorporated area of Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s parcel control number will indicate this by the first two numbers being zeros (Ex. 00-42-40-25-xx-xxx-1020).  You can find the parcel control number by searching for the address on the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s web site.  

If your business is delivering propane gas, natural gas or electricity to a delivery address located in the unincorporated area of Palm Beach County, you are subject to the collection of this 10% Public Service Tax on those sales.  You  can look up each delivery address on the Property Appraiser’s web site or Planning, Zoning & Building website (http://www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/epzb) or obtain a listing of all addresses located in the unincorporated area of  Palm Beach County by contacting the Planning, Zoning and Business (PZ&B) department of Palm Beach County.

If my business is not located in Palm Beach County, am I still subject to the collection of the Public Service Tax on my deliveries made to the unincorporated area of Palm Beach County?

Yes, all sales of propane gas, natural gas or electricity within the unincorporated area of Palm Beach County are subject to the 10% Public Service Tax regardless of location of the seller’s business address.

Who is exempted from paying the Palm Beach County Public Service Tax?

The following purchasers are exempt from paying the Palm Beach County Public Service Tax:

  • the United States Government, the state, counties, school districts, municipalities of the state, and any other public body as defined in the Florida Statues 1.01.
  • any recognized church.
  • Residential users of electricity.
Can I use my own remittance form?

If you wish to use your own remittance form, it must contain all current information listed on the Palm Beach County remittance form including:

  • Monthly sales.
  • Name of company.
  • Street address.
  • Store number.
  • City, state and zip code.
  • Telephone number.
  • Fax number.
  • Email address.
  • Printed authorized name and title.
  • Authorized signature.
  • Date.
Do I have to send in a remittance form, when I did not sell any propane gas, natural gas or electricity that month or when I did not collect any Public Service Tax for that month?

Yes, it is required that you declare and state that you have not experienced any taxable sales for the month on the Palm Beach County Public Service Tax remittance form.

Are there any requirements for me to fulfill if my company is not located in the unincorporated area of Palm Beach County and does not ever deliver or sell propane gas, natural gas or electricity within the unincorporated area of Palm Beach County? 

Yes, if the above is true then you must return a signed affidavit from the principals of your company stating that the company does not have sales in the unincorporated area of Palm Beach County. 

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