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What Are Your County Property Taxes Used For?

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When you get that bill for county property taxes, you may get sticker shock. County property taxes are at an all time high all over the country, though they can vary greatly depending upon where you live. But, what are these county property taxes used for? Tax rates, calculations and usages vary by state, of course. But, here are the most popular uses for those county property taxes you’re paying.

• Schools – In many areas of the country, more than .50 of each dollar you pay in county property taxes is used to fund your local school district. In most states, the largest funding school districts receive is through local property taxes. These taxes help maintain school buildings and buses, pay teacher and administrative salaries and buy books.

• Roads- City and county property taxes are used extensively to keep roads in good working order. They may be used to make minor repairs as well as widen roads as required due to traffic increases.

• Police and Fire Support – In most cases, your local police and sheriff’s departments as well as your local fire departments are funded by city and county property taxes. Your taxes support the buildings, vehicles and salaries of our policemen and firefighters.

• Public Libraries – Libraries are typically run by the county, so county property taxes provide their funding. Everything from building maintenance and staff salaries to purchasing new books is primarily funded through taxpayers.

• Hospitals – In some parts of the country, local hospitals receive some funding from local taxpayers. These funds are usually provided to ensure that hospitals in financial trouble don’t have to close. It is in the public’s best interest to have a hospital right in the community, so taxpayers often bear some of the financial burden of keeping the hospital afloat.

• County government – And, of course, your county taxes fund your local county government to provide office space and pay salaries.

In some areas, a portion of your local city and county property taxes may also be given to the state. In most cases, however, at least 90% of the property taxes you pay stay right in your local community. When states take part of the revenue, it is usually just a small amount.

It is said that people complain more about their property taxes than any other taxes they pay. However, these are the taxes that stay right in our local communities, educating our children and paying our policemen and firefighters. So, while it is your civic duty to keep watch on how your tax dollars are spent and speak up about unnecessary spending, remember that those local taxes are those that benefit you directly the most.


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