by Dennis Hartman
Improvements like a new roof can raise a home's property tax liability.
Property tax is charged as a flat-rate percentage of a taxpayer's property value. Local governments, including states, cities and counties, collect property tax and are responsible for setting property tax rates. This means that tax rates, and amounts, vary widely. According to MSN Money, median property tax rates range from 0.14 percent in Louisiana to 1.74 percent in New Jersey. MSN also notes that populous states like California and New York have median property tax rates of 0.61 percent and 1.14 percent, respectively.
Local governments may increase property tax rates for a number of reasons. One of the most common is to increase revenue during times of economic hardship, without which governments could be forced to reduce services and cut funding
to schools. Cities that see a sudden influx of residents may also raise property tax rates to pay for improvements in infrastructure or government services for the new residents, or to moderate the pace of growth.
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