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Property Taxes Vs Real Estates Taxes – What’s the Difference
If you are new to the world of real estate, you may be a little confused by all the taxes that are assessed. To many people, the terms ‘property tax’ and ‘real estate tax’ sound similar, but there are some important differences. Let’s take a look at them.
Real estate taxes are taxes based on the assessed value of the property. They are assessed on privately owned property and funds are collected from local governments. Real estate taxes are what we often hear about that fund schools and pay for road repairs.
There are two subcategories of property tax. There are real estate taxes, of course, but there are also personal property taxes. Consider real property that cannot be moved. These are things like a house, an outdoor garage, a storage building or a barn.
Personal property is defined as movable property such as furniture. These taxes are sometimes called excise taxes. Your car is also personal property. Believe it or not, the license fee you pay for your car is a form of personal property tax. If you own a business that repairs or sells goods, that inventory is personal property. In most cases, you are exempt from tax on the first $50,000 or $100,000 of inventory, depending on your state.
If you own an RV, it counts as personal property because it can be moved, even if you live in it full time. If it sits on land you own, you will have to pay real estate taxes on that land, but not in combination with the RV.
So what assessment are these taxes based on? Every local government has a department that assesses the true value of a property. They see the structure and the value of the land itself. Sometimes they calculate these values separately and sometimes they are viewed together. The assessment rate is a lower percentage of the assessed value. For most areas, the assessment rate is 70% – 80%, which lowers the value of the home and therefore the calculated amount of the tax rate.
It should be noted that HOA or condo association fees are not the same as real estate or property taxes. That fee goes directly to the association for common area repair and maintenance costs.
Personal property tax is assessed as a percentage of the property’s value. Each state and county will have their own rules on how they calculate personal property taxes. Also, each state as well as the federal government allows tax deductions on individual income tax forms for real estate taxes paid in a given year.
There are also exemptions that some homeowners may qualify for to help reduce the tax burden. These discounts are usually for wounded military, the disabled, and the elderly.
Hope this has helped clarify the difference between property taxes and real estate taxes. Although they sometimes overlap, they are very different. It just depends on the item being taxed.
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