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Understanding Property Taxes
Introduction:

The assessment process is the basis for generating property tax revenues that pay for schools, roads, fire protection, police protection, recreational facilities, and other local services.

County Appraiser:

The County Appraiser is responsible for discovering, listing, and valuing all property within Phillips County and must follow state laws when meeting these responsibilities. Each year the Appraiser must review recent real estate sales and consider local economic conditions in order to maintain the most current value of the property in the county. The Appraiser's goal is equalization of property values. This causes the taxes that pay for many community services to be distributed fairly and equitably between property owners.

The Taxpayer:

As a property owner and taxpayer, you have specific rights and responsibilities in the assessment process. You have the right to examine the Appraiser's property records and verify that the property you own is listed and described correctly on the tax records. If you disagree with your property value, you may file an appeal with the County Appraiser. You have the responsibility to provide accurate information to the Appraiser about property you own and to attend and participate in budget hearings held by school, county, cities, and special districts which levy taxes on your property.

Exemptions:

Some organizations' and individuals' properties are exempt from property taxes, such as churches, farmers' grain storage, and some taxing entities. The Application for Tax Exemption is available here or from the Appraiser's office.

Property Tax Calculation

Your property taxes are determined by multiplying the actual value times the assessment rate times the mill levy. The assessment rate on residential properties is 11.5%. The assessment rate for commercial and industrial purpose in 25%. The assessment rate is fixed by law and is the same statewide.

Sample Calculation:

Let's assume the market value of your home has been determined to be $60,000, and the statewide residential assessment rate is 11.5%. This would mean that the assessed value of your home would be $6,900 ($60,00 times .115 = $6,900).

Let's also assume that the total mill levy is determined by the local taxing authorities of your particular taxing district. Multiply the assessed value of your property ($6,900) by the mill levy (125 mills or .125). The amount is $862.50, which is your share of the total responsibility to support the programs for which taxes are budgeted.

Assessment Ratios:
Property Type Assessment Rate Approach to Value
Residential - Includes homes, apartments, and condominiums 11.5% Market Value / Cost/ Income
Commercial - real property used for commercial or industrial purposes 25% Market Value / Income
Ag Land - land used to develop agricultural use 30% Use Value / Income
Ag Imprv - improvements on land devoted to agricultural use 25% Market Value
Vacant Lots - vacant land with no improvements 12% Market Value
Non-Profit - real property owned and operated by not-for-profit organizations 12% Market Value
All others - all other real property not elsewhere classified 30% Market Value

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