Pay Property Taxes – Tax is imposed on almost everything in the United States, and it helps to keep the country running. Houses are also taxed, and the government received loads of money from property tax. The money earned through tax is spent again on the public.
Why pay property tax when you have paid for your house?
Property tax included while paying mortgage:
Most people can not afford to directly buy homes, so they shift to a house and pay for it on a rental basis. It is called a mortgage. A mortgage is a smaller amount paid by the person who lives in the house, and it is paid to the original owner of the house. Sometimes people think that the mortgage is just the money paid in instalments to the original owner, but that is not the case. The mortgage money sometimes includes the property tax, which the original owner has to pay for the house.
It means the money you pay to the homeowner includes both the mortgage on the house and the property tax. Sometimes, the owner pays the property tax himself, and you are required to just pay him the mortgage. After you have provided all the mortgage payments you will see that you have paid the owner more than the original price of the house. It is because you paid property tax + mortgage. The extra amount is the property tax. Suppose you paid one thousand dollars each month as the mortgage.
To pay around 200 dollars per month in property tax
After you paid for the house, you might think you do not have to pay more. When you buy the house, the only amount that you do not have to pay is the principal amount and the interest. You still have to pay around 200 dollars per month in property tax.
You owned the property while you paid the mortgage, and you now own the house, but that does not mean you will not pay taxes. Each state has different rates of taxes. These taxes are set by the representatives of each state. The property rate in some states is one dollar for every thousand dollars of the property value.
A mortgage is money you owe to the owner of the house when you purchase the property.
Property tax is the money you owe to the government to acquire multiple community services.
Obtaining property tax to pay for community services:
The area you live in is controlled and managed by the government. These mini governments are called the municipality. And are responsible for different services they provide to the people for their benefit. The municipality consists of many services such as maintaining roads. Removing snow from roads in the winter, managing public schools. Providing a police force for the security of the neighborhood. Paying welfare to poor and needy people in the neighbourhood. Maintain public swimming pools, parks, skating rinks, baseball grounds, and other public welfare facilities. Moreover, proper waste disposal is an issue in most societies. And is also very expensive to transport waste to landfill areas.
The municipality does not have money of its own as it is part of the government. And neither does the government provide funds to it for running the matters of the society. As a result, the municipality has the authority to collect property taxes according to the property value from the residents. Even when the owners have paid for their house. They have to pay for the community services in form of tax.
Moreover, the municipality has to maintain its own offices and pay salaries to the staff members. All these expenses are fulfilled by collecting taxes from the residents of the neighbourhood.
The price is the property tax paid by the customer
Every person wants to live in a society where everything is properly maintained. Those green parks, the constant water supply, the security, the sewerage system. Public schools are all essentials that people want in a neighborhood, and they do come with a price. The price is the property tax paid by the customer. These services do not stop even when you have paid for your house.
Municipalities have tough time collecting cash, and when they do not receive the desired amount. It affects the maintenance of the society. They find alternate ways to collects taxes by applying a new fee on your car insurance or maybe a hike in property tax.
Furthermore, some cities with municipality cemeteries sell cheaper plots than privately owned properties. They sometimes have to take over those cemeteries if the private owners abandon them. So we can conclude that people still have to pay taxes even if they have paid for their house. To obtain the environmental benefits provided by the municipality.
Not paying property taxes:
Property tax is vital and has to be paid by every homeowner. If the homeowner does not pay property taxes, he may face trouble from the municipality. If you become stubborn and go against the law. And do not pay your property taxes, you might lose your property.
The local municipality has to pay for services to the community. So it is pretty strict in ensuring that every homeowner pays their respective property tax. If due to any reason, the homeowner does not pay property tax. The municipality has the authority to force the owner to sell his to retrieve the property tax.
It would be unfair if the homeowner skipped property tax once. And will be forced to sell his home to retrieve it. As a result, if a person does not pay property taxes. The local tax authority will impose fines or start to charge interest on your property. If he does not pay property tax consecutively, the interest will build up. The payment of interest has a time frame, and if the due payments are not paid in that time frame. The owner has to face harsh consequences. The local tax authorities will most probably sell your house to acquire them due to property taxes. And the interest charged over them.
So, as a result, we still have to pay property taxes even if we own the house.
What to do if you are not able to pay your property tax?
Most people struggle with paying their property taxes. Property taxes can be tough to deal with and non-payments of such taxes may lead to loss of property so what should we do in case we are not able to pay out property tax.
Put your house on rent:
Putting your house on rent is the easiest way to deal with property taxes, but you have to compromise your living conditions. There are two ways of renting your home.
First of all, if you live in a home that is too big for the 4 four-member of your family, put some part of the house on rent. If you live in a house with two portions, rent out one of the sections and live by yourself in the other section. Your property tax can be paid by the monthly rent you receiving by renting a part of your house. In most cases, you might also receive a couple of hundred dollars extra after paying your taxes.
The market value of the residence will increase with time
Moreover, if you have a joint family, and giving a portion of your house is not convenient, you can shift to an entirely new house. I’m not saying you buy another house on mortgage, but take an entire residence on rent for your family and give your house on rent to someone else. Just make sure that the residence you take on rent is not quite expensive, and the rent can be paid by the income coming from your house. I have given you the ultimate secret to save yourself from taxes. You can save up for property tax from the rent your receive and also pay the rent of the house you are currently living in.
Suppose the property tax is 200 dollars and the rent of the residence you live in is 800 dollars. Now if you rent out your house for 1000 dollars a month, you can easily cover property tax and also pay for your rent.
It is a convenient method to save yourself from paying taxes as you do not need to worry about paying your property tax. Moreover, you will not have to sell your house, instead, the market value of the residence will increase with time.
Challenging your property value:
It is also a method to save yourself from property taxes and reduce your property tax extensively. Let us look at how they calculate the property tax. Property tax is calculated by assessing the value of the property according to market demands. A percentage of property value accounts for property tax. It might be exact or very close as it is an estimated price and can vary from time to time. Suppose, due to any reason, the market value of your property declines then the homeowner has to pay a lesser amount in taxes, and if the property value rises, the owner of the property has to pay higher property tax.
Challenging the market value of a property may reduce your property taxes. Each state has procedures to challenge a market value. Once you receive the bill for your house, you can challenge it.
The government will have to pay back the money
While challenging your bill, you must show the authorities that the estimated market value placed on your property is incorrect or not according to market demands. In some states, the government will require you to pay the tax bill before you file for an appeal. If you are successful in winning your appeal, the government will have to pay back the money that was taken as extra charges.
Keep in mind that it is vital to follow the specific procedures for filing an appeal. If you do not follow those procedures, you will lose the appeal. You should check the tax assessor website to grab better knowledge of your property tax and checklist the necessary documents you will need while applying for an appeal. If you are missing those documents, your appeal might be rejected on basis of missing documents. All these steps are necessary to apply for a strong appeal. If vital, you may also consult with a taxation lawyer or online tax firms such as TurboTax.
Each state has laws for the specific type of people, and if those people fulfill those conditions, they are allowed to reduce their property tax. Different factors account for the reduction of property tax. Some of these factors might include age or the homeowner, disability, income, or personal status. If the homeowner is aged or suffers from any disability, the local authorities support them by reducing their property taxes.
The government will not access your situation and provide you with a reduction in property tax. Instead, you have to visit the local tax department and write a letter or request to provide tax reduction. Moreover, proof of disability or old age should also be provided. Sample proof of your medical history or a photocopy of your original identity card or birth certificate are some proofs. If the person has a low income, he has to provide the authorities with the salary slip.
Some states do not provide a reduction in taxes, but they do give you alternates. They may provide you with referrals, which mean that you will be allowed to postpone the taxes you have to pay to your government. Deferrals are only allowed if meet certain conditions provided by the local tax authorities. Most states provide a tax repayment plan to their customers to help them out in paying their taxes, but these benefits are given only if the homeowner comes under certain conditions. Most states also waive off interest rates applied on late payment of taxes.
Do not do further construction:
The more things you construct in your house, the more its market value will increase, and if the market value increases, you will have to pay more property tax. Most homeowners tend to build a shed or an extra room in the house and It increases the property value. People facing tax issues should abstain from doing this.
If it is compulsory to do construction, go to a nearby tax consultant and take out a rough average of additional tax that will be applicable after the construction.
Limit your curb appeal:
When your property is taxed, the authorities examine your property thoroughly and provide a strict set of instructions when the property is evaluated. If the house is not of much value but is considered attractive by the local tax authorities, they will assess a higher property value in comparison to less attractive houses.
Your property will be compared to the houses in your neighbourhood or the houses nearby. Try not to pimp your house before the local authorities come to evaluate its market price. Plan ahead as the assessor tends to give a surprise visit. If possible to carry out your physical improvements after the assessors have evaluated the price of your property.
How do I calculate property tax?
Property tax is calculated after the assessors examine your property and evaluate the market price of your property. They look into several factors before they give an estimate about the value of the property. A house with less covered land will have a lesser property value than a house with a more covered area.
The property tax is also called the Mill levy or the millage tax. one mill will represent one-tenth of the one cent. It means that 1000 dollars of property value will be equal to 1 dollar in taxes.
Suppose a house has a market value of 100 thousand dollars, and the tax rate set by the state is 0.5 percent of property tax.
Total value = 100,000
Tax percentage = 0.5 %
(0.5/100)*100000 = 500 dollars.
It means that if a property has a market value of 100 thousand dollars, the homeowner will have to pay 500 dollars a month in taxes to the government.
Yearly tax: 500 x 12 = 6000
If further calculated, we can say that the owner of the house has to pay six thousand dollars yearly in taxes.