FAQ: Property Taxes and Appeals

Property Tax 101

  • What are property taxes?
    Property taxes are taxes you owe the government based on the value of your property. Most property taxes in the United States are levied by the county in which the property is located.
  • When are my property taxes due?
    Property taxes are usually due 30 days or one month after the government sends you the property tax bill.
  • How are my property taxes calculated?
    Property taxes are calculated by multiplying the estimated value of your property by the tax rate. The estimated value of your property is usually set by the county government.
  • How are property taxes collected?
    The government will send you a tax bill that you must pay. Often the taxes for one year will be split into two bills: one sent in the first half of the year and one in the second.
  • Are property taxes state or local?
    Property taxes are usually levied by the local county government. Sometimes, the state or local community can also charge a property tax.
  • Can I dispute my property taxes?
    Usually, you can file a property tax appeal with the government to dispute your property taxes.
  • What is a property tax appeal?
    A property tax appeal is a document that a property owner sends to the government to lower their taxes. Usually the government has a form that the property owner must fill out with information about their property and why the taxes should be lowered. The information required may include comparable properties, error descriptions, income rates, exemption data, or more.
  • Should I appeal my property taxes?
    You should appeal your property taxes if you think that the government's estimated value of your property is too high. Usually there is no penalty for appealling: generally the government cannot increase your taxes because you appeal.
  • What are comparable properties?
    Comparable properties are properties that are similar to your property. If properties similar to yours have lower taxes, you may have a reason to appeal your property taxes.