A property tax assessment is the determination of the market value of a piece of property. Assessments are usually prepared as of a specific date each year and are typically based on recent sales of comparable properties in the area. Local governments use your assessment as the basis for your annual property tax bill.
Property taxes are a type of ad valorem tax and are calculated based on the assessment of your property's value. This value is determined by your local assessor's office. Property assessments are done anywhere from once per year to every five years depending on state law. You usually receive your value assessment first, and then your property tax bill later. Your value assessment is multiplied by the local tax rate, or millage rate, to find your property tax amount due. This tax due can be paid as part of your monthly mortgage payment or in annual or semi-annual payments to the local taxing authority. Some localities may also accept monthly payments.
Local property taxes fund things like schools, fire departments, and libraries and can be a major source of funding for your city, county, and school district. Some property tax bills will show details on how much of your property taxes go where.