Autumn is typically the time of year when your local county tax assessor sends out property tax statements. Property taxes are how cities and counties fund schools, fire and police departments, parks, libraries, buses and other services that its residents enjoy.
The property tax on your home is determined by multiplying the mill levy (sometimes known as millage rate) against your assessed property value. The mill levy is determined by the local government and is based on how much money is required to keep city and county services running. Mill levies are established late in the year, which is why you won’t know exactly what your property tax will be until the statement arrives in the mail.
There are three ways to find out the estimated property tax for your property before the statement arrives. Knowing the amount of the tax assessment ahead of time will help you start planning for the property tax bill now.
1. Locate last year’s bill. During the real estate boom, it was really difficult to keep up with the roller coast ride of property assessments. Now that the market has settled down and has even dropped, last year’s bill will be a pretty good gauge of what this year’s property taxes will be. I noticed a 10% drop in the assessment value as opposed to last year’s rate which means that my taxes this year will be lower as well.
2. Call up the County Tax Assessors Office. If you can’t locate last year assessment notice, you can telephone the county Tax Assessor’s Office to ask. Again, while Autumn is still a bit early to learn the exact property tax for the current year, the assessor’s office can give you a ball park figure.
3. Go online. Most county offices now post your property taxes online. To locate your county’s property tax division, type in the name of your county in your favorite search engine to turn up their web address. From there, you’ll have to navigate through the site to find the property values tab. Look for the tab that reads “assessments” or “property tax” to view the projected tax rate for the current year.