The property tax is the primary source of revenue for local governments throughout the country. The revenue obtained from the property tax allows a local government to provide public good and services to the local community. These services include: public education, including community colleges, port authorities, utilities, roads, parks, and law enforcement agencies.
The property tax is not levied equally; a person with a larger or more expensive lot of land, given the area, will typically pay more in property taxes based on the value of the land. To properly evaluate and subsequently institute a suitable property tax, the property in question must be assessed and appraised.
Three factors determine the total amount of property taxes imposed by a local government. The first, which is the property tax appraisal, is established by the appraisal district for the county in which the land is located. The purpose of a property tax appraisal is to simply allocate and distribute the burden of property taxes fairly among all payers.
To control revenues for local governments and the amount in which a citizen pays, many localities have instituted acts to cap the yearly increases of the value of property. The property tax appraisal determines the value of property based on the location and the value of the home itself.
The property tax assessment is made up of two primary components–the improvements made to the land or the building value and the value of the land itself. A property tax assessment is administered by a tax assessor who is a public official and estimates the value of real property for the purpose of instituting the property tax levy.