Tax Roll

What is 'Tax Roll'

A tax roll is an official breakdown of all property within a given jurisdiction, such as a city or county, that can be taxed. The tax roll will list each property separately in addition to its assessed value and the amount of taxes due. This roll is usually created by the taxing assessor or other authority within the jurisdiction.

BREAKING DOWN 'Tax Roll'

A tax roll is simply a record of all land parcels located within a given jurisdiction and their owners. The roll is used by tax assessors to determine what property is subject to tax. Most state and local governments impose a property tax (or millage rate) on real estate and personal property to fund water and sewer improvements, provide law enforcement and fire service, and finance education, road and highway construction, public servants, and other services which benefit the community-at-large. Property tax rates and the types of properties taxed vary by jurisdiction. The rate of tax is a percentage of the assessed value of the property subject to tax. In some cases, the tax rate is expressed as a “millage” or dollars of tax per thousand dollars of assessed value.

After assessing the tax roll, the assessor determines the value of each property s/he has determined is liable to property tax, after which the assessor may notify the property owner(s) of the value so determined. Some jurisdictions require no formal notice be given; instead, the assessor “opens” the books to allow property owners to view the valuations. The roll serves as legal evidence of tax liens. For any lien date, if a property experiences a decline in value for any reason, so that its fair market value is less than its value on the property tax roll, the property will be re-assessed downward to reflect its current market value.

The tax roll is often used as a basis for calculating actual taxes to be levied upon residents within the jurisdiction of the taxing authority. For example, assume a city's tax roll shows that there is a total of $250 million of assessed value within the city, and the city needs $2 million to operate its budget this year. Therefore, the city uses the figure from the tax roll to calculate a tax of eight mills for each property on the roll.

Components included in the tax role may include: valuation date, taxable status date, property location and class, total assessed value of the property (including land and improvements), full market value, assessor’s oath, etc.