Property Tax Lawyers in Santa Monica
In Santa Monica, California, the government imposes a tax (a legally-mandated payment made to the government) on real property. "Real property" is defined as any piece of land, or object permanently or semi-permanently affixed to the land (such as buildings, trees, minerals, etc.).
In Santa Monica, California, property taxes are measured as a percentage of the land's value. They are most often paid annually. But in any case, they are paid at some set interval.
The federal government almost never imposes property taxes directly. Property taxes are collected nearly exclusively by state, county, and local governments.
How Property Tax is Calculated in Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica, California property taxes are usually calculated as a percentage of the value of the taxable property. Rates vary widely across the country, usually ranging from less than 1% at the low end, to about 5% at the high end.
To collect the property tax in a fair and consistent manner, Santa Monica, California tax authorities need to have an objective formula for determining the value of land under its jurisdiction.
Value, in some ways, is not an objective thing. For example, your childhood home is probably worth much more to you than its simple market value. However, the tax authorities use only objective factors in calculating a home's taxable value.
There are many different ways to value property using objective factors. Generally, the appraiser in Santa Monica, California will consider the current state of the real estate market, the size of the property, any improvements (buildings, roads, etc.) that have been made on the property, and the manner in which the property may be legally used (zoning).
How A Santa Monica, California Property Tax Attorney Can Help.
The system of levying property taxes in Santa Monica, California can get fairly complex. Disputes about property taxes, between the taxpayer and the tax authorities, can come up in several different ways. A taxpayer may believe that an error was made in calculating their property's taxable value, resulting in bigger tax bill. Also, the state or city government might allege that you have failed to pay your property taxes, while you believe that you have.
If you are involved in a property tax dispute with the tax authorities of Santa Monica, California, you should seek the advice of a Santa Monica, California tax attorney. Your attorney can help you prevent a small tax problem from turning into something much bigger and more expensive than it needs to be.