When budgeting for the year ahead, you need all your property tax information at your fingertips, and you need it in a format that makes it simple to sort and compare. Let’s explore why property tax rates change and how to stay one step ahead.
Why Does My Property Tax Rate Change?
Property tax rates are set by local governments once a year. Barring any significant changes, the rate is usually adjusted to ensure that the jurisdiction will bring in the same amount of property tax income as the previous year. In other words, if a county’s assessed property value goes down, the property tax rate will be adjusted upward, and vice versa.
That being said, rates vary widely across localities and states due to several factors, including sources of local and state revenue and local property values. For instance, New Hampshire relies more heavily on its property tax revenue than any other state, in part because it levies no sales or income tax.
When Does My Property Tax Rate Change?
Local governments set their property tax rates during their annual budgeting process, which typically occurs in the summer. Many states have legislation that limits their counties, cities, and other smaller jurisdictions in changing their tax rates—check out our state-by-state property tax rate limitations guide.
Although you can generally expect rates to be adjusted to offset any increases or decreases in assessed property value, it’s still important to pay attention so you avoid any surprises when you receive your tax bill.
How to Learn About A Property Tax Rate Change
Although local governments will announce tax rate changes as part of the public record, they may not send you a direct notice until you see the property tax rate change reflected on your tax bill. Many states do not require municipalities to mail notices of rate changes ahead of the tax bill mailings themselves.
In many cases, local governments are required to announce proposed changes and provide a forum for the community to comment, but they are not always required to submit the changes for a referendum or public vote. This leaves it up to property owners to proactively monitor for rate changes—which can be challenging if you’re managing many properties in various jurisdictions.
How to Access Property Tax Rate Data Online
As part of PTX Tech’s TaxFeed subscription, we offer easy access to property tax rate information to help our clients save time and avoid additional research and monitoring. In the online TaxView portal, you can view all the tax rate data for jurisdictions where you own property.
As soon as a jurisdiction announces a property tax rate change, it will appear in your portal. Tax rates are organized by jurisdiction or tax area, which makes it easy to compare this year’s rate to last year’s. And if the jurisdiction offers any discounts, such as early payment discounts, that information is listed as well.
Schedule a free consultation to learn more about PTX’s TaxFeed subscription and our TaxView portal.