What is Tax (or Real Estate Tax)?

Real Estate Dictionary

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As applied to real estate, an enforced charge imposed on persons, property or income, to be used to support the State.

Real estate tax, also known as property tax or real property tax, is a tax imposed by governments on the value of real property, such as land and buildings. It is a recurring tax that property owners are required to pay to the local government authority, typically the municipality or county, where the property is located.

The purpose of real estate tax is to generate revenue for the government to fund public services and infrastructure, such as schools, roads, parks, and emergency services. The tax amount is based on the assessed value of the property, which is determined by the government assessing authority. The assessed value is usually a percentage of the property's fair market value, which is the estimated price it would sell for on the open market.

The calculation of real estate tax varies by jurisdiction, but it typically involves multiplying the assessed value by the applicable tax rate. The tax rate is expressed as a percentage, and it can vary depending on the local government's budgetary needs and tax policies.

Real estate taxes are typically billed annually, although the frequency may vary in some places. Property owners are usually given a set period to pay the tax bill, and failure to do so can result in penalties, interest charges, and even the possibility of a tax lien or foreclosure on the property.

It's important to note that real estate tax laws and regulations can differ significantly between countries, states, and municipalities. Therefore, it is recommended to consult local tax authorities or seek professional advice to understand the specific rules and obligations related to real estate tax in a particular area.