Some jurisdictions have set limits on how much property values may be increased from year to year for property tax purposes.
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The assessment process varies widely by jurisdiction as to procedure and timing. In many states, the process of assessment and collection may be viewed as a two-year process, where values are determined in the first year and tax assessed and paid in the second. Property owners in all jurisdictions are given rights to appeal taxing authority determinations, but such rights vary widely. Jurisdictions imposing property tax uniformly charge some official with determining value of property subject to tax by the jurisdiction.
Some taxing jurisdictions may share a common tax assessor for some or all property within the jurisdictions, especially when the jurisdictions overlap. Following determination of value, tax assessors are generally required to notify the property owner s of the value so determined. In Louisiana, no formal notice is required; instead, the assessor "opens" the books to allow property owners to view the valuations. Some jurisdictions provide that notification is made by publishing a list of properties and values in a local newspaper.
In some jurisdictions, such notification is required only if the value increases by more than a certain percentage. In some jurisdictions, the notification of value may also constitute a tax bill or assessment.
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Generally, notification of the owner starts the limited period during which the owner may contest the value. Owners of property are nearly always entitled to discuss valuations with the tax assessor, and such discussions may result in changes in the assessor's valuation. Such review is often done by a board of review, often composed of residents of the jurisdiction who are not otherwise associated with the jurisdiction's government.
Nearly all jurisdiction provide for a mechanism for contesting the assessor's determination of value. Such mechanisms vary widely. All jurisdictions levying property tax must allow property owners to go to court to contest valuation and taxes. Some jurisdictions prohibit judicial appeal until administrative appeals are exhausted. Some permit binding arbitration. Tax is levied at the tax rate and assessment ratio applicable for the year.
Property taxes in the United States generally are due only if the taxing jurisdiction has levied or billed the tax. The form of levy or billing varies, but is often accomplished by mailing a tax bill to the property owner or mortgage company. Taxing jurisdictions provide a wide variety of methods a property owner may use to reduce tax.
Nearly all jurisdictions provide a homestead exemption reducing the taxable value, and thus tax, of an individual's home. Exemptions can be quite substantial. Time and manner of payment of property taxes varies widely.
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Many jurisdictions provide for payment in multiple installments. Payment is generally required by cash or check delivered or mailed to the taxing jurisdiction. Property taxes generally attach to the property; that is, they become an encumbrance on the property which the current and future owners must satisfy. If the tax is not paid within a specified period of time including additional interest, penalties, and costs , a tax sale is held, which may result in either 1 the actual sale of a property, or 2 a lien sold to a third party, who after another specified period of time may take action to claim the property, or force a later sale to redeem the lien.
The tax lien attaches to the property  at a specific date, generally the date the tax liability becomes enforceable. Where the property owner does not pay tax by the due date, the taxing authority may assess penalties and interest. Generally, the penalty and interest are enforceable in the same manner as the tax, and attach to the property.
Where the property owner fails to pay tax, the taxing authority may act to enforce its lien. Enforcement procedures vary by state. In some states, the lien may be sold by the taxing authority to a third party, who can then attempt collection. Property taxes are generally administered separately by each jurisdiction imposing property tax,  though some jurisdictions may share a common property tax administration. Often the administration of the taxes is conducted from the taxing jurisdiction's administrative offices e. The form and organization varies widely.
Most taxing jurisdictions refer to the official charged with determining property values, assessing, and collecting property taxes as assessors. Assessors may be elected, appointed, hired, or contracted, depending on rules within the jurisdiction, which may vary within a state. Assessors may or not be involved in collection of tax.
Property taxes, like all taxes in the United States, are subject to constraints under the United States and applicable state constitutions. The United States Constitution contains three relevant provisions: limits on federal direct taxation , an equal protection rule , and the privileges and immunities provisions.
Limitations on the taxing power
Most state constitutions also impose other restrictions, which vary widely. The federal government is generally prohibited from imposing direct taxes unless such taxes are then given to the states in proportion to population. Thus, ad valorem property taxes have not been imposed at the federal level.
State constitutions constrain taxing authorities within the state, including local governments. Typically, these constitutions require that property taxes be uniformly or equally assessed. While many states allow differing rates of taxation among tax jurisdictions, most prohibit the same jurisdiction from applying different rates to different taxpayers. These provisions have generally been interpreted to mean the method of valuation and assessment must be consistent from one local government to another.
Some state courts have held that this uniformity and equality requirement does not prevent granting individualized tax credits such as exemptions and incentives. Some states permit different classes of property as opposed to different classes of taxpayer to be valued using different assessment ratios.
In many states the uniformity and equality provisions apply only to property taxes, leading to significant classification problems. Property taxes in the United States originated during colonial times. Delaware did not tax property, but rather the income from it. In some states, "all property, with a few exceptions, was taxed; in others, specific objects were named.
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Land was taxed in one state according to quantity, in another according to quality, and in a third not at all. Responsibility for the assessment and collection of taxes in some cases attached to the state itself; in others, to the counties or townships. Connecticut taxed land based on type of use. Procedures varied widely. During the period from until the Civil War , a unifying principle developed: "the taxation of all property, movable and immovable, visible and invisible, or real and personal, as we say in America, at one uniform rate.
This was introduced as a requirement in many state constitutions. After the Civil War, intangible property, including corporate stock, took on far greater importance. Taxing jurisdictions found it difficult to find and tax this sort of property. This trend led to the introduction of alternatives to the property tax such as income and sales taxes at the state level.
Hard times during the Great Depression led to high delinquency rates and reduced property tax revenues. Many jurisdictions exempted homes of war veterans. After World War II , some states replaced exemptions with "circuit breaker" provisions limiting increases in value for residences. Various economic factors have led to taxpayer initiatives in various states to limit property tax.
There are numerous policy issues regarding property tax, including: [ citation needed ]. In spite of these issues, many aspects of the property tax, and the reliance of local governments on it as a principal source of revenue, have remained much the same since colonial times. In the absence of urban planning policies, property tax on real estate changes the incentives for developing land, which in turn affects land use patterns. One of the main concerns is whether or not it encourages urban sprawl. The market value of undeveloped real estate reflects a property's current use as well as its development potential.
As a city expands, relatively cheap and undeveloped lands such as farms, ranches, private conservation parks, etc. The lower small business rate is applicable to Canadian-controlled private corporations CCPCs with active business income eligible for the federal small business deduction. Generally, active business income is income earned by a corporation from a business other than a specified investment business or a personal service business. The lower small business rate applies to active business income up to the B. When the rate or the business limit changes during the tax year, you have to base your calculation on the number of days in the year that each rate or limit is in effect.
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