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Property Tax 101

Calculating property taxes can seem complicated. This video will provide you with the basic facts about how these taxes work, how they are calculated, and how you can appeal an assessment that you feel is unfair.

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Understanding property taxes and property tax assessment is typically one of the more confusing elements of buying a home. When you first look at a property, it’s important to remember that there’s a difference between the market value of your home and the taxable value.

While a mortgage lender will do a rough estimate of the taxable value, I encourage you to dig a little deeper and do some research to find out what you’ll most likely be paying each year.

How property taxes work may seem a little complicated, but I’d like to simplify it for you. Property taxes are due annually and cover our city’s needs and services like schools, roads, and the fire department. Our city’s budget requirements minus the city’s revenue equals the property tax needs for the year.

Because our city’s requirements and revenue are are always changing, this tax must be assessed each year..

Property taxes can increase for two reasons. The taxes you pay are based on how much your home is worth each year, so when homes are assessed at different values, each homeowner will pay a different amount proportionately based on how much their home has increased in value. When the city’s cost of providing services increases, the property taxes must also increase, and everyone pays their share across the board.


By now, you should have received your county property tax assessment, and I’m betting you may have been a little bit surprised by how much your payment went up. However, I want you to remember that the primary reason behind the rise is a good thing. Home values in Huntsville have gone up almost 5% since last year.

While this is great for a community, I understand how this increase might be tough on your taxes. If you think your assessment is too high, and you want to appeal it, you have three options:

  • If you purchased your home within the last year, you can submit your settlement sheet to the county tax assessors so that they can assess it for the value that you paid for your home.
  • If you’ve lived in your home for longer than one year, you can simply have our team at Amanda Howard Real Estate pull three comparable properties from your neighborhood to see if any sold for less than your home’s assessed value.
  • If you had an appraisal that was less than what your assessment is, you can also show this to the county tax assessor’s office.

If you have any questions about understanding your assessment or would like help in appealing it, don’t hesitate to give us a call, or stop by today.


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