Quick Guide to Property Taxes

Property taxes change depending on where you live. In some locations property taxes align with the fiscal calendar, in others, they do not: in some locations, you get one bill, in others you receive two.

To ensure you have the most up-to-date information on property taxes, please contact your real estate agent, title agent, or consult local government

For example, in California property taxes are not aligned to a fiscal calendar. California property tax year runs from July 1 to June 30. Tax bills are sent out in October and contain two bills (AKA installments). The first is due November 1 and delinquent December 10 of the same year; the second is due February 1 and delinquent April 10 of the following year.

Although rare, some homes are purchased right as property taxes are issued. To handle this, your escrow officer will figure out EXACTLY how much the buyer and seller owe as it relates to their share of ownership for property taxes.

It is also worth noting that you might be eligible for a homestead exemption, which is a legal provision that helps shield a home from some creditors following the death of a homeowner spouse and provide tax relief for surviving spouses. Homestead exemptions are only for one primary residence, and no other exemption can be claimed on any other property anywhere.

To learn more about property taxes, please see the IRS’s publication on Tax Information for Homeowners.

Get a quick overview about taxes in your area by selecting your state below.

This article is part of the Home Buyer Guide and Home Seller Guide.