Property tax is a convoluted and often quite confusing structure whereby municipalities chargehome owners for a tax to cover the variety of services and programs supplied to the community atlarge, such as snow removal, garbage collection, fire and police coverage, and more. The property tax system is always keyed to the traditional practice oflevying taxes based on the legitimate current value of a property.
The residential property tax is set by a municipality to cover their expenses in operating those services and is based on a tax rate (previously known as a mill rate) calculation of a specified percentage of the total amount of assessed value, or what the municipality believes your property is worth. Therefore, if the assessed value of your home is $500,000 and your tax rate is .02, your tax payable every year is $10,000.
The assessed value of a home is a controversial factor as in the real estate adjustment of recent times many home owners have found that the assessed value has lagged behind the actual "sell it today" price of their homes.
The municipal property assessment authority in yourregionwill mail out a property assessment notice showing what they believe the current value of your property is as of the date of valuation. This information is also included in the municipal assessment roll. If a home owner believes that the current value of their property has been listed incorrectly they may request that the municipal property assessment authority reconsider that valuation.
If the authority does not change that assessment, there is a process of arbitration and appeal open to the property owner. Many home owners have gone through the process of requesting arbitration through an assessment review board, or even filing an appeal against a property assessment which they feel is unfair, but you should be advised that the level of success of such procedures and appeals is scant at best.