property tax


Definition of property tax 

: a tax levied on real or personal property

Examples of property tax in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For the first time in a dozen years, Fort Lauderdale may raise property taxes on its residents. Meryl Kornfield,, "Fort Lauderdale may raise property taxes for first time in 12 years," 13 July 2018 Carvalho’s office drafted language that would ask voters to increase property taxes by 75 cents per thousand dollars in taxable value, which would raise $232 million, or $142 this year for the typical homeowner. Colleen Wright, miamiherald, "Vague ballot language confuses Miami-Dade schools’ bid to raise taxes to pay teachers," 12 July 2018 While reviling property taxes is a longstanding Pennsylvania tradition, some property owners are accepting the increases with equanimity. Meghan Bobrowsky,, "Homeowners may hate them, however property taxes aren't going anywhere … but up," 11 July 2018 Lanoue said that communities should have the choice of being primarily residential and relying on property taxes for revenue, or focusing on industrial growth. Janice Steinhagen, Courant Community, "Veteran, Newcomer Square Off In 45th District Race," 11 July 2018 The state led the tax revolution in 1978, when voters passed Proposition 13 — slashing property taxes and requiring a two-thirds vote by the Legislature to raise them. Adam Nagourney, New York Times, "How Control of Congress Could Swing on a Fight to Repeal California’s Gas Tax," 6 July 2018 McAllen raises more sales tax per capita than almost any other Texas city — about $60 million last year, greater than its property tax revenue, Darling said. Kevin Sullivan, Washington Post, "‘An all-American city that speaks Spanish’: Welcome to the Texas border town at the center of the immigration fight," 4 July 2018 The administration of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said Thursday the tax money would have offset property taxes and offset the cost of public safety and drug and alcohol abuse. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Marijuana tax increase fails at Anchorage assembly," 29 June 2018 In 1978, California voters passed the state’s most infamous law: Proposition 13 severely restricted raising property taxes, and required a two-thirds majority to pass many tax measures. Daniel Duane, WIRED, "How the Startup Mentality Failed Kids in San Francisco," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'property tax.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of property tax

1808, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

21 Aug 2018

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The first known use of property tax was in 1808

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More Definitions for property tax

property tax


Financial Definition of property tax

What It Is

Property tax is a tax on property -- usually real estate -- as determined by an assessor.

How It Works

Let's assume you own a house. The property tax assessor in your municipality will likely assign a value to the house and calculate your property taxes based on that assessed value. It is important to note that assessed value is usually not the same as a property's fair market value.

For example, if the property tax rate is 4% and your house's assessed value is $200,000, then your property tax liability equals (.04 x $200,000) or $8,000. The assessed value is often computed by incorporating the purchases and sales of similar properties in nearby areas.

Why It Matters

Property taxes are usually collected by cities or counties, and the funds usually pay for the local school, fire and police districts.

Tax rolls disclose the taxable value of all the property in a taxing authority’s jurisdiction. They are the basis for most property tax calculations, and the size of the tax roll therefore can have a huge influence on the operating budgets of the taxing authority. Tax rolls also usually disclose the owner of each piece of property, a description of the property and other details.

Source: Investing Answers

property tax


Legal Definition of property tax 

: a tax levied on real or personal property (as by a municipality) — compare excise, income tax

More from Merriam-Webster on property tax

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occurring twice a year or every two years

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