The responsibility for calculating your home’s value for tax purposes is the tax assessor’s office in your city, township, borough, or county. The assessor is answerable to your municipality’s department of revenue and is subject to state tax laws and regulations.
The first step in determining your property taxes is to classify your property according to its use. Municipalities typically contain several types of property. Residential, of course, accounts for structures and land used for home occupancy that does not generate income for the owner. Commercial properties are those that directly generate income for the owner, either through rentals (such as an apartment complex) or via business operations (such as a clothing store or auto body shop). The industrial classification is usually reserved for heavy industry (manufacturing, mining, logging, shipping), while the agricultural classification applies to land that generates revenue through farming.
Tax assessed values are used only by the property tax authority of your county or municipality in order to bill you properly. Your home’s appraised value represents the fair market value of the property, which depends on both market trends and the condition of the property itself. Counties and municipalities tax properties within their boundaries and use the funds for schools, community improvement projects, etc. To do this, they must determine the tax assessed value of each residential property within their jurisdiction. Tax assessment is usually based on reviewing data from your area or neighborhood (such as the recent valuations or sale prices of similar homes in your vicinity) and is done without an assessor coming to the home.
Frequency of community tax assessment depends on the county or municipality where you live. Some counties re-assess annually, while others do so every other year or less often.
There are many factors that can affect the value of a single residential property. These include its location, its condition, any improvements made to the property, any recently constructed structures that have increased the property’s footprint, and any renovations that have increased the property’s “curb appeal” (such as new doors, windows, siding, or paint).