Three items mathematically account for the increase in local property tax revenues. They are…
- The number of parcels in a given property classification.
- The average taxable valuation of those parcels
- The levy or millage rate applied to those parcels.
Government officials are extremely adept at hiding which of these factors is the primary culprit, especially if the culprit is politically sensitive. They can’t hide anymore with Copperhead’s Tax Change Analyzer.
Simple Operating Instructions:
- In the first four rows insert the name of the jurisdiction, the dollar unit by which your state divides the taxable valuations (some are per $100 and some are per $1,000 of value) and the two Fiscal years you want to compare.
- This report is broken out into four blocks of real estate classifications that can be compared. For illustration purposes we use Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Agricultural. If your jurisdiction has more than this, save this report as the master file and use it for as many classifications as you have. Remember, you are using the totals (parcels & valuations) for each classification by jurisdiction.
- After you’ve inserted the property classification in each block, then in column B insert the number of parcels in that class for both fiscal years.
- In column D insert the taxable valuation of each property. In some states, be careful not to use the market valuation as it may be subject to ‘rollbacks’ credits, etc. Use the total taxable valuation.
- Finally, in column E, insert the total levy or millage rate assessed by this jurisdiction to arrive at the total taxes levied.
This data can be received from your county assessor, clerk and or auditor, depending on the state you live in. A friendly call to the county will sometimes help you receive the information. Don’t ever forget this information is public record. If they are less than cooperative (which seems to be increasingly the case) then you need to submit it under a lawful public records request. “Oh, that sounds hard and I’ll need to hire an attorney,” you might be thinking. The answer is, “No, it’s not hard and in most cases an attorney will not be necessary.” Check here for some helpful information on securing public records.
Once your data is in, then you can start analyzing the change in your jurisdiction’s property taxes to discover the real culprit driving the change.
If you need help with this report you can contact Copperhead Here