February 14, 2021

What factors determine the change in a property's assessed value and how does this affect your property tax?

Your property’s value isn’t fixed. Assessed value, or a percentage of your property’s current economic worth, which is estimated annually, is a major determinant of the property taxes you pay. Several factors influence a property’s assessed value which directly affects property taxes.

Before we begin, let's get one thing straight. The value of your home isn't fixed forever, which means the property tax you pay for a home you own cannot be fixed either.
Property tax is dependent upon two major things - your property's assessed value and your county's tax rate. This blog talks about the former.

Learn more about how a county's tax rate is determined here.

What is 'property value'?

To put it simply, any property's value is its current economic worth. Property valuation is the process through which it is determined. A property buyer, seller or owner must always know what the subject property is worth.

Learn more about property valuation here.

A property's price may not be the same as its value. Value is the property's actual worth compared to similar properties; price indicates what a property might be sold for at a given point in time.

Factors that determine a change in a property's assessed value

  1. Land value - Generally land is scarce, but population increases. As an ever-demanded

commodity, land's value generally appreciates. The rate at which appreciates depends on several factors that affect current market conditions. But as a major part of owned property, fluctuation in land value directly affects the assessed value of a property.

  1. Size and usable space – In real estate, market value of a property is often determined by

price per square foot. Certain improvements determine the usability of a property. These factors which influence the market value also determine the assessed value of property.

  1. Improvements - Improvements add value to land. When a property is remodeled or

improved, the additional value is attached to the assessed value of property. Different counties treat this additional value of improvements differently, depending on the laws of the state, county or city. Get in touch with your local county appraisal district to learn more.

  1. Depreciation - Any tangible asset's value can depreciate over time due to usage, wear

and tear. Economic depreciation often occurs with real property. Depreciation isn't uniform or scheduled. It depends on several influential factors. Depreciation directly affects any property's market value, thereby affecting the assessed value.

  1. Current Market Conditions - Real estate data is what assessed values are derived from.

The assessed value is a percentage of fair market value or the price a willing and informed buyer is willing to pay for a property. Depending on several factors like demand, scarcity and more, an assessed value could change too.

  1. Other home values - Assessed value largely depends on computerized calculations based

on real estate data in the neighborhood and surrounding area. Property values of other comparable properties in the area affect the Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system which standardized the valuation of property for taxation purposes.

Learn more about CAMA here.

  1. Neighborhood - Areas with larger populations, abuzz with economic activities tend to

have properties with a higher assessed value. Similarly, distressed areas have lower assessed values due to the poor quality of the neighborhood. Naturally, urbanization and increased settlements in an area result in better neighborhoods and in turn, higher assessed values.

  1. Amenities - Addition of amenities such as restaurants, shopping and entertainment

among a plethora of other possibilities in a property's vicinity directly affects the quality of the neighborhood and results in a higher market value and therefore a higher assessed value.

  1. Owner occupancy - A property owner can claim homestead exemptions that reduce the

assessed value of a property on the property used as the principal residence.
Learn all about the qualification criteria to be met by a property owner and the property to claim a homestead exemption here.

A property's assessed value only determines the valuation of property for taxation purposes and does not affect the price at which you can sell or buy property.

Learn all about assessed value here.

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Articles presented here are for general information and education only. It is provided as a courtesy to the general public. SQD Taxtech LLC does not warrant that it is accurate or complete. Opinions expressed and estimates or projections given are those of the authors or persons quoted as of the date of the article with no obligation to update or notify of inaccuracy or change. This article may not be reproduced, distributed or further published by any person without the written consent of SQD Taxtech LLC. Please cite source when quoting.

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