A property tax (or millage tax) is a levy on property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state, a county/region, or a municipality. Multiple jurisdictions may tax the same property.
There are four broad types of property: land, improvements to land (immovable man-made objects, such as buildings), personal property (movable man-made objects), and intangible property. Real property (also called real estate or realty) means the combination of land and improvements. Under a property tax system, the government requires and/or performs an appraisal of the monetary value of each property, and tax is assessed in proportion to that value. Forms of property tax used vary among countries and jurisdictions.
A special assessment tax is sometimes confused with property tax. These are two distinct forms of taxation: one (ad valorem tax) relies upon the fair market value of the property being taxed for justification, and the other (special assessment) relies upon a special enhancement called a "benefit" for its justification.
The property tax rate is often given as a percentage. It may also be expressed as a per mil (amount of tax per thousand currency units of property value), which is also known as a millage rate or mill is also one-thousandth of a currency unit.) To calculate the property tax, the authority will multiply the assessed value of the property by the mill rate and then divide by 1,000. For example, a property with an assessed value of $50,000 located in a municipality with a mill rate of 20 mills would have a property tax bill of $1,000 per year.
Famous quotes containing the words property and/or tax:
“If property had simply pleasures, we could stand it; but its duties make it unbearable. In the interest of the rich we must get rid of it.”
—Oscar Wilde (18541900)
“I have no doubt that it was a principle they fought for, as much as our ancestors, and not to avoid a three-penny tax on their tea; and the results of this battle will be as important and memorable to those whom it concerns as those of the battle of Bunker Hill, at least.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)