Hey everyone! I’m Bette Hochberger, CPA, CGMA. For today’s quickie, I am going to simplify how property taxes work and their significant impact on investment decisions. So, if you’re a beginner in real estate, make sure to keep reading!

How Property Taxes Work

Property taxes are gathered by local governments on real estate properties. The amount of tax owed is typically based on the assessed value of the property by the community’s assessor. This assessed value is used to calculate the annual bill.

The rates vary widely depending on location and can be influenced by factors such as school districts, municipal services, and local government budgets. The revenue generated from it is often used to fund public services and infrastructure, including schools, roads, parks, and emergency services.

Impact on Investment Decisions

For beginner real estate investors, understanding the implications is essential for making informed investment decisions:

  1. Budgeting: Property taxes are recurring expenses that investors must budget for when calculating the potential profitability of a real estate investment. High rates can significantly impact cash flow and overall returns on investment.
  2. Location Considerations: The rates vary widely from one location to another. When evaluating potential investment properties, it’s crucial to research and compare rates in different areas to assess their impact on investment viability.
  3. Property Valuation: They are often based on the assessed value of the property. Understanding how local assessors determine values can help investors measure the accuracy of assessments and assess the fairness of property tax obligations.
  4. Tax Incentives: Some jurisdictions offer incentives or exemptions for certain types of properties or investments, such as historic properties or ones used for affordable housing. Understanding available incentives can help investors optimize their tax liabilities and maximize returns.
  5. Long-Term Planning: Property taxes can increase over time due to changes in values or local policies. When planning long-term real estate investments, investors should consider the potential impact of future increases on their financial projections and investment strategies.

In conclusion, property taxes play a significant role in the world of real estate investment. Beginner investors must understand the basics of how they work and their implications for investment decisions. 

I hope you learned something new today. As always, stay safe, and I will see you next time.