An ad-valorem tax applied to real estate, based off the value of the land and it’s improvements. Paid by the owner, this tax is calculated by multiplying the property’s current market value by the applicable tax rate. Market value is typically determined by a government hired assessor, who conducts an appraisal of the property to obtain the assessed value. Tax rates vary by state and jurisdiction.
When property taxes are left unpaid, a governing authority may impose a lien upon the property. A tax lien may restrict the transfer or refinancing of the property until satisfied. One should always be sure that a property is free of all outstanding liens before purchasing a property.