How to Calculate Property Tax?
Buying and owning a home has many fees and your property tax is just one that you need to keep in mind. Property taxes are levies charged by your local government to fund local public services like schools and emergency services. They are automatically calculated by your local government, but estimating it yourself could help you catch any mistakes made by your tax assessor.
How to Calculate Property Tax?
To calculate your property tax, you will need to first get two key numbers: the assessed property value and the mill levy. With these two numbers, you can easily get an estimate for your property tax, but the accuracy of your calculation will depend on how accurate your inputs are.
Assessed Property Value
You may often hear people talk about the market value of a property, but this is not the same as the assessed property value. The market value of a home is the amount an informed buyer would pay for a property. This is the value of your property according to the broader real estate market. However, the assessed property value is the value of your property determined by your local tax municipality.
Tax assessors will evaluate your property as often as once per year and adjust their property value estimate when it is sold, bought, built, or renovated. This value is based on the property size, different rooms, the purchase price, the neighborhood, and several other factors. While your assessed property value is usually close to the fair market value, if you are in a seller’s or buyer’s market, this value will be adjusted to reflect more balanced market conditions. However, the assessed property value will generally be lower than the market value.
If you are eligible for any deductions or exemptions, you can subtract this amount from your assessed property value and enter it in the calculator. Certain counties will only apply the property tax to a portion of the assessed property value.
Each local tax assessor’s office or local tax authority will have your property tax information available including your assessed property value on the Public Records Online Directory. If you disagree with your assessed property value, you can submit an appeal with proof that the assessed value is inaccurate to your local tax assessor.
Mill Levy (Millage Rate)
Your county’s mill levy is how much you need to pay per $1,000 of your assessed property value. A county with a mill levy of $20 would have a property tax rate of $20/$1,000=2%. The average mill levy in the U.S. is $11 or 1.1%. This tax rate can vary significantly depending on government services and their required revenue. For example, a county with several schools and hospitals is likely to have a higher property tax than a county without them.
The mill levy is applied annually, so a mill levy of $20 on a $300,000 home would cost $6,000 per year. However, you will probably receive your property tax bill on a semi-annual basis for half of the annual levy. Using the same example, you would pay $3,000 every 6 months, but the total annual property tax is still $6,000. Generally, property taxes are paid on March 1st and September 1st.
For your county’s property tax rates, visit Tax-Rates.org.