Are Your Property Taxes Going Up?

Posted on: September 6, 2013

When you buy a home, it’s easy to look at the property taxes and allocate a monthly payment in your budget. Unfortunately, looking at the current property taxes only tells a tiny portion of the property tax picture in your town. There are some indicators that can tell you if your property taxes are likely to go up in the near future – which may mean you need to buy elsewhere or allocate a higher tax payment in your monthly budget.


When was the Last Assessment?

If the last assessment of the home that you’re considering was recent, there’s a good chance the taxes are up to date. But if the last assessment was 10 years ago, you should be very wary of that number staying the same. Find out when the last assessment was done, and when the town intends to do the next one.


How Do Projected School Populations Relate to School Facilities in Town?

School populations have a surprising degree of impact on your property taxes. Are school populations projected to grow in the near future? If so, they’d require more teachers, and possibly expansion of the school. Adding schools and teachers can be very expensive, so find out what the school population is doing in your area before you buy.


How is the Town Zoned? Where’s the Open Space?

Zoning plays another important role in determining property taxes. If there’s a lot of open space that is zoned residential, it could signal an influx of new residents, an increase in school populations and a growing demand for municipal services, like new roads. New residents tend to necessitate a tax increase. Alternately, new office buildings, shopping centers and industrial parks can help cushion the tax demands on individuals.


What’s the Condition of Town Buildings and Equipment?

Is the town hall and police station in good repair? A new town hall, new fire trucks and new emergency response personnel can be a significant drain on a city’s resources, necessitating a tax increase. If the city you’re considering operates facilities in good repair, with up-to-date equipment, you’re less likely to be facing a tax increase to pay for updates.


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