February 18, 2021

What is the assessed value of a property?

The assessed value of a home is a yearly estimation of your home’s worth. The assessed value determines the tax you pay for the property you own. Learn all about how it is determined, by who and by what methods below.

The assessed value of a home is a yearly estimation of your home’s worth. It is the dollar value assigned to a property to measure applicable taxes. Government appointed property assessors decide the assessed value for each home within a given tax district.

Why do assessed values exist?

Necessary county services such as schools, police, and fire protection are supported by county tax dollars. Real estate assessments are how the tax burden is fairly distributed among all property owners in a county. The distribution from the assessment is proportionate to each property's market value.

What type of property is assessed for property taxes?

All real property owned by an individual or an organization are taxable by the county whose jurisdiction they fall under and need to be assessed. Other than this, some states also require property taxes on personal property which typically includes mobile homes, boats, cars and motorcycles. The property tax on personal property is also based on assessed value.

Who determines the assessed value?

A government appointed property assessor is responsible for assigning the assessed value. Government assessors are usually designated by specified tax districts.

What determines the assessed value?

The assessed value of your property is based on one of these three figures:

  • The market value, which is what your property would sell for in a free market, given a willing seller and an able buyer.

  • The appraised value, which is the value of a property based on an appraiser's determination.

  • Or a uniform percentage of either.

Typically, assessed values are lower than market value or appraised value.
If the assessed value is higher than the market value, the property is most likely over-assessed by your town.
Unsatisfied by your assessment and tax bill? Learn how to lower your Texas property tax

The exact steps to assessing a property vary by jurisdiction. Some assessor’s offices use a predictive algorithm to help determine assessed values for more properties quickly, while others address assessments on an individual, in-person basis. However, assessed value determination procedures generally take comparable home sales and inspections into consideration.

Learn about Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal systems (CAMA) and how property valuation is carried out here.

How to calculate the assessed value of your property

There are two ways to calculate the assessed value of any property:

  1. Assessed value = Market Value x (Assessment Rate/100)

One needs to know the assessment rate as well as a property's market value to estimate a property's assessed value. You can get your property's market value by either hiring a professional appraiser, valuating your property yourself or getting in touch with your local officials responsible for property appraisal. Assessment rates can be found on the county's website or by contacting a county or city official in the department of finance and taxation.

  1. Assessed value = Property tax bill x (100/tax rate)

A property owner can use his property's tax bill and the tax rate for the area to calculate the assessed value. All property owners receive the tax bill from the department of finance and taxation of the county about a month before taxes are due. The tax rate is determined by the combined assessed value of the properties in the area. It can be found on the county's website or by contacting a county or city official in the department of finance and taxation.

What can I do if I am not convinced of my property's assessed value?

If you are not satisfied by your property's assessment and if you think your property may have
been over-assessed, you are legally allowed to petition a revaluation or challenge it. The procedure may vary from state to state.
Learn all about protesting your property tax in Texas.

A property's assessed value may change over time for various reasons. Learn more about the factors that influence it here.

Here are some other tips to lower your property tax bill.

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