Thursday, September 6, 2012

Property Tax Assessment Day

Yesterday there was a strange man wandering through our home and, for once, it wasn't me. The real estate assessor had finally arrived. I say finally because we had received a letter in the mail three weeks ago that stated someone in a red car would be stopping by in a week to reassess our property for tax purposes. So we made the house look presentable and decided I would stop working in my pajamas until he arrived. After waiting patiently by the window for a week (after working from home for awhile people stopping by excites us, sort of like a dog), nobody showed. Another week went by, and I was ready to start working in my underpants, I mean pajamas, again. Good thing I held off one more day.

Once he finished I decided to go back and see how much the property taxes on have changed over the years. Over the past five years, our fair market value has dropped 11% and our assessed value has increased 6.5%. That seems a little fishy. This year our assessment ratio, the ratio between the assessed versus market value, is 1.0217. Meaning we are paying property taxes on 2% more than our home is worth. Our mill rate, the amount taxed per dollar of assessed value, is .02159. So for every dollar our property is worth we are paying just over two pennies in property tax. This year our property taxes were about 2.17% of the market value of our property.

So do we want the assessed amount to go up or down? No, really, what do we want it to do? I kind of want it to go up so when it comes time to selling I can point at that number and say give me more money because it says so. However, then the property taxes will be higher for me and for a prospective buyer. Then the other part of me wants it to go down so that we have lower taxes to pay. But realist K knows that isn't going to happen. If our assessed value goes down I'm sure the mill rate will go up to make sure that the man gets his money.

How do your property tax figures compare?


  1. You get pretty in depth there. I just look at what I paid last year vs what I paid this year and get excited when I don't have to pay more. When you go to sell does it really go off your property taxes or your appraisal? Working from home sounds like a blast.

    1. That's pretty much what we do too but at our new house the property tax history is online so I had to give it a look. Our last purchase, the appraisal was done after we had an accepted offer and it came in at the exact same price as the offer, shocker.