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What Are Personal Property Taxes?from:
When most of us think of property taxes, we think of the taxes we pay on our home and the property it’s built on. These taxes can be quite large, depending upon the area of the country in which you live, and the funds generally go to support the local government’s budget. But in most states, you’re paying personal property taxes, too. These are taxes on other large items you own, like automobiles, boats, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, aircraft and utility trailers most notably.
Personal property taxes are assessed by the state where the vehicle or other item is registered. Different states use different methods of collection. For example, in some states, you pay one year’s worth of property tax on a vehicle when you register it, and then each year you’ll pay property tax when you renew your license plate. In some states, all license plates are renewed in January, but in other states the renewal date falls on the birthday of the individual to whom the vehicle is registered, so in those states, personal property taxes are being collected all year long. Some states collect personal property taxes once each year, sending out a tax bill to residents for all their personal property at one time.
The rate charged for personal property taxes also varies by state, but it is generally based on the value of the item registered. With cars and trucks the value used for calculating personal property taxes is generally the NADA blue book value.
In most states, personal property taxes are used to fund the budget of the Department of Motor Vehicles, and possibly other state or local governments. Your personal property taxes may go to help pay the salaries of the DMV workers, as well as for building space, and other supplies.
In most states, the term “personal property taxes” is used to mean the taxes described above. However, in some states, this term is also used to refer to real estate property taxes. However, regardless of the terminology used, in most states, these two types of taxes are different, and the funds are used differently.
Property taxes charged on your home and any other property you own generally funds your county or city government, where the money goes to pay for schools, roads, local government and police and fire support. Many people pay both city and county property taxes. Property taxes paid on vehicles, boats, etc, as listed above, however, generally always fund your state, not your local government.
We can’t avoid paying property taxes, and they’re important for funding the budgets of our state and local areas. But, it’s helpful to know how much you’re paying and exactly where your tax money is going.
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