Questions to Ask About Property Tax

Real estate portal sites generally offer information on a property's annual taxes. But it's a good idea to verify this information with your real estate agent and the sellers.

What is the assessed value of the property?

Assessed value is generally less than market value. A recent copy of the seller’s tax bill will help you determine this information.

How often are properties reassessed in this area?

In general, this will happen annually, but properties in areas of slower growth may be reassessed less often.

When was the last reassessment done on this property?

Significant tax increases on an individual property usually can be linked to when that property was last reassessed.

Will the sale of the property trigger a tax increase?

Depending upon where you live, the assessed value of a property may increase based on the amount you pay for it. In California, for example, annual increases for existing owners are capped, and properties are reassessed when they're sold.

Is the tax bill comparable to that of other properties in the area?

If not, it might be possible to appeal the assessment and lower the rate.

Does the current tax bill reflect any special exemptions for which I might not qualify?

For example, many tax districts offer reductions to individuals 65 and older.