The laws that govern how property taxes are applied are generally regulated by local governments. Therefore, the following brief overview of property taxes and should be viewed only as an introduction to the subject and not as the definitive word on anything.
Keep in mind that since property taxes are, as noted, governed locally, cities with similar tax codes might still differ substantially on such matters as how and when taxes are assessed and collected. If the property tax rules, regulations and procedures for the city or county you live in are not readily available online, you're sure to find them in your local library.
Here are some general aspects of almost all property taxes;
-- They are tax imposed by municipalities upon owners of property within their jurisdiction based on the value of such property.
-- There are three species of property typically taxed: land, improvements to land and personal property. Real estate is the combination of land and improvements to the land.
--Taxes on property are usually charged on a recurring basis. A common property tax is an annual charge based on the estimated value of the property.
-- Two other forms of potential property taxes are usually event driven. A transfer tax when property ownership changes hands and an inheritance tax imposed on the estates of the deceased.
-- Some jurisdictions may impose a land value tax rather than or in conjunction with a tax on real estate.
-- The land value tax is levied only on the unimproved value of the land and its supports argue that is is more economically equitable than a real estate tax and will not interfere with production, change market mechanisms or create dead weight losses the way, the claim, other forms of property taxes do.
-- Real estate held by a higher government unit or certain other entities (typically churches and other places of worship owned by religious denominations) is not subject to taxation by the local government..
-- In general, taxes levied periodically on residents who own personal property such as boats, cars and RVs can be considered to constitute a property tax.
-- Some places, such as the state of California, have statuary limits on much municipal governments can raise property taxes.