What You Need to Know About Property Taxes

Property Tax Homeowners

Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibilities as well as certain recurring costs every year, one of which will be your property tax bill. This one tends to catch new homeowners by surprise, so don’t let this be the case for you! Read on to learn more.

Property taxes are a primary source of revenue for governments and are a large expense for homeowners. The price of your property taxes will vary widely depending on the assessed value of your home and the local property tax rate.

Property assessments are conducted once every year or two, or if the property is transferred, such as when it’s purchased by a new homeowner. The assessed value will be the market value or the market value multiplied by the assessment rate.

Property tax bill due dates vary by state and possibly even county. For an example, we will use San Diego county. In San Diego county, the first installment of secured property tax is due on November 1st and becomes delinquent after December 10th. The second installment is due February 1st and becomes delinquent after April 10th. If the delinquent date falls on a weekend or holiday, you have until the close of the next business day to pay your tax bill. The Annual Secured tax bills are mailed at the beginning of October every year. Here’s a Property Tax Guide from the San Diego Country Treasurer.

What do property taxes pay for?

Your property taxes will end up paying for schools, parks, libraries, public services, and many other services. Each service will have its own rate that is then multiplied by a property’s assessed value and then added to determine a final amount due.

For a simple property tax example, if the general tax is a 1 percent rate (this varies by tax jurisdiction) and the owner’s property was assessed at $350,000, the homeowner would owe $3,500. If you’re looking for a more in-depth sample, check out this sample of a property tax bill from San Diego county.

If you have any questions regarding your property taxes, please reach out to your local tax authority (the County Assessor office or the County Treasurer).

Remember, property tax laws are set at the local level and can vary depending on where you reside, so the information in this blog is only meant to give you a general idea of what to expect when it comes down to paying your property taxes.


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