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Property taxes are a primary source of revenue for governments, and they’re a big expense for homeowners. They can vary widely depending on where you live.

The two main factors determining your property tax bill are the assessed value of your house and the current tax rate. The assessment is periodically adjusted to account for changes in property values.

Property size, type, age and location affect the tax rate. If the tax bill is based on local real estate values, it will vary from year to year. Tax authorities can also raise a tax bill by increasing a property’s value assessment or by increasing the tax rate. They can lower the bill by decreasing the assessment or the rate, as well.  

Another factor is how a property is used: residential, commercial, agricultural or some other use. Different uses are taxed at different rates, but taxation should be uniform. That is, the same multiplier should apply to properties in the same category.

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