What Are Property Taxes Based On?
by Dennis Hartman
A home's value is a major part of determining property tax.
Property tax is levied on taxpayers as a flat rate percentage of the value of property. Tax rates vary widely from one municipality to another, but they are the same for every resident of a given district. Several different levels of government are allowed to collect property tax, including states, counties, school districts and special districts, such as fire districts. An individual taxpayer's property tax burden is the combined percentage of property value from each of these institutions. States may impose a maximum total property tax, which is the most an individual in the state can be expected to pay as a sum of each municipality's tax rate.
Property value is determined through an assessment by a government-appointed inspector. Assessors are like commercial home appraisers, using many different processes and statistics to compute the
value of a home. Some municipalities tax not only real property (like land and homes) but also personal property, including motor vehicles and other valuable possessions. As property value increases or decreases, so too does the owner's property tax liability.
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