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How Do Property Taxes Work?

As a homeowner, you're getting hit with annual property taxes. But have you ever stopped to think about what these taxes are, and why you should pay them?

Property taxes are assessed by city and county governments to generate the bulk of their operating revenues. The taxes help pay for such public services as schools, libraries, roads, and police protection.

Unlike the income tax and the sales tax you pay, the property tax is not based on how much money you earn or how much you spend. It is based solely on how much the property you own is worth.      

The real property tax is an ad valorem tax, or a tax based on the value of property.

This can change over time. Re-valuations of the tax are often done periodically, although the time interval varies from state to state or, in some states, from town to town, and can range from annual reassessments to periods of ten years or more.

Ideally, the owners of property of equal value pay the same amount of property taxes, and the owners of more valuable property pay more in taxes than the owners of less valuable property.

But how does your property tax amount come about? The tax is calculated using a variety of formulas and is based on a property’s assessed value – its full market value or a percentage thereof – and the tax rate of the taxing jurisdiction, minus any property tax exemptions, such as those offered for the elderly or veterans.

As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I, along with my team, have a wealth of real estate and homeownership information that may be of help to you. Feel free to contact our team any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.

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