Using the Internet for property tax information

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Jan 02, 2018

Contributor:  Charlie Burkhardt

Today with the Internet, there are many resources to find information about property taxation. This includes:

  • Sites provided by the states and counties.
  • Organizations that do research on property taxation.
  • Property tax consultants.
  • Appraisal organizations.
  • Third party paid sites.

States & Counties

Using online search sites, you can find information provided by states and counties. This includes:

  • Explanation of the property tax statutes.
  • Forms to file returns.
  • Depreciation tables.
  • Contact information for assistance.

Below are some examples of states and counties that provide property tax information on their websites.

California

Kansas

North Carolina

Polk County, Florida

Harris County, Texas

Sussex County, Delaware

Non-profit Organizations

There are several organizations that provide studies on property tax. Some have annual updates, while others update their information every few years.

  • Tax Foundation Organization (https://taxfoundation.org/)—The Tax Foundation is a non-profit tax policy company that publishes a number of reports based on  research, analysis, and expertise in tax laws. One report that they publish annually is the State Business Tax Climate Index. This report covers a discussion of all taxes including property taxation.
  • Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (http://www.lincolninst.edu/)—This organization’s mission is to improve quality of life through the effective use, taxation, and stewardship of land[i] has a lot of information including information on property taxation. Their most recent annual report, 50-State Property Tax Comparison Study for Taxes Paid in 2016, identifies property tax rates in over 100 U.S. cities and using statistical analysis, analyzes property tax reliance across those cities.
  • National Conference of State Legislatures (http://www.ncsl.org/)—The National Conference of State Legislatures published a paper November 2015 that does a great job of discussing the property taxation of communication property. In the paper, Property Taxation on Communication Providers: A Primer for State Legislatures, issues with the property taxation of communication issues are identified including how each state handles the property taxation of communication providers.

Appraisal Organizations and Consultants

A key appraisal organization related to property taxation is the International Associate of Assessing Officers (http://www.iaao.org/), an appraisal organization for state and local appraisers that are involved in appraisal for property taxation. Additionally, the organization includes links to a resource library, publications, and consulting services regarding property taxation. Other appraisal organizations include:

  • The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) (https://www.appraisalfoundation.org)—this organization addresses property tax valuation in the quality control standards applicable for real property, personal property, intangible assets, and business valuation appraisal analysis and reports.
  • CCH (cchgroup.com)—a subscription based, legal website that provides information on all types of taxes including property taxation. It has extensive information on property taxation including courts cases and links to the state statutes.
  • The American Society of Appraisers (http://www.appraisers.org/)— includes appraisers that are involved in valuation of property taxation appraisals. This organization includes appraisers involved in appraisals for property taxation. There is some general information on appraisal terms and a directory to find appraisers specifically involved in different types of appraisals.
  • The Appraisal Institute (https://www.appraisalinstitute.org/)—an organization that focuses on primarily real estate appraisals including the valuation of real estate for property taxation.
  • Property tax consultant firms such as Deloitte, Duff & Phelps, EY, Ryan and Willamette Management Associates provide information on their websites.

Thanks to the Internet, today it is much easier to find information on property taxation for many jurisdictions. While there are still some jurisdictions that have none or very limited information, each year additional information is coming online to help answer property tax questions.