State Provisions for Property Reassessment

April 29, 2010

Fiscal Fact No. 223

Property taxes represent the lion's share of local government tax revenue, with local governments raising nearly $400 billion per year from this source to fund services. Property taxes are a type of ad valorem tax, calculated as a percentage of the assessed value of the taxed property. Generally an assessment of the property is made by determining how much similar property can be sold for on the market at that time, with some states discounting the market value by a certain percentage.

But property values—such as home prices—are not static. Over time the market value of property will change, and not in a uniform pattern. That is, even in the same county, some property will appreciate rapidly while values elsewhere may stagnate or even drop. These variations in market value necessitate regular reassessment of the property in order to levy an equitable property tax. Usually assessors hired by local governments do the work.

Infrequent reassessments can result in significant over- or underpayment of property taxes. If one's property has decreased dramatically in value—which has been the case for many American homeowners since 2006—a property tax using the old higher value for the property would not be correct. Of course, governments have the choice to increase property tax rates as values decrease in order to maintain or increase revenue. Conversely, in good times, many governments keep property tax rates constant or cut tax rates as property values rise.

The combination of infrequent reassessment with rate increases shifts the property tax burden away from those whose property has been appreciating onto those whose property values have been declining.

States have different requirements for how frequently reassessments are conducted. Nine states do not have state provisions for when reassessments take place. Most states follow an annual to five-year schedule. A few states do not require reassessments for up to 10 years.

Following is a summary of state statutes, where they exist, of property reassessment schedules:

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Table1
State Laws Governing Reassessment of Real Estate for Tax Purposes

State

Frequency of
Reassessment Required

Statute

Ala.

At least once every 3 years

Alabama Appraisal Manual, Ch. 2
(Administration and Organization)

Alaska

Annually

AS 29.45.160, AS43.56.090;
AS 29.45.150

Ariz.

Annually

Sec. 42-15101, A.R.S.;
Sec. 42-13051, A.R.S;
Sec. 42-13052, A.R.S.

Ark.

At least every 3 years (1)

Sec. 26-26-1902(a) and (b), A.C.A

Calif.

Usually whenever a "change of
ownership" occurs or new
construction is completed

Sec. 75.10, Rev. & Tax. Code,
Reg. 463.500, 18 CCR;
Sec. 62, Rev. & Tax Code

Colo.

Every 2 years

Sec. 39-1-104(10.2), CRS

Conn.

Prescribed schedule. At least every
10 years following reappraisal

Sec.12-62(a) and (b), G.S.

Del.

No provision

Sec. 8317, Tit. 9, Code

Fla.

At least every 5 years

Sec. 193.023(2), F.S.

Ga.

Annually

Reg. Sec. 560-11-2.28

Hawaii

No specific requirements

Idaho

At least every 5 years

IC Sec. 63-314

Ill.

Every 4 years.
Cook County is assessed triennially

35 ILCS 200/9-215

Ind.

Every 5 years

IC 6-1.1-4-4

Iowa

Every odd-numbered year except
for property of public utilities, which
is assessed annually

Sec. 428.4, Code of Iowa;
Sec. 434.1, Code of Iowa

Kans.

Dependent on county

Sec. 79-1476, K.S.A.,
Sec. 79-1478, K.S.A.

Ky.

At least every 4 years

Sec. 132.690, KRS

La.

Real property at least every 4 years.
Annually for personal property

Sec.18(f), Art. VII, 1974 La Const.,
Reg. 105, LAC, Reg. 121, LAC;
Sec.47:2331, La R.S.

Maine

At least every 4 years

Sec. 328, Tit. 36, M.R.S.A.

Md.

Every 3 years

Sec. 8-104, Prop. Tax Art

Mass.

Annually, certified by state
every three years

MGL ch. 40 § 56, MGL § 2A

Mich.

Annually

MCL 211.10

Minn.

At least every 4 years

Sec. 273.08, Minn Stats

Miss.

No provision

Miss Code Ann. Sec. 21-35-29

Mo.

Every 2 years

Sec. 137.115, RSMo.; Sec. 137.115, RSMo.

Mont.

Annual assessment mostly

MCA 15-7-111;ARM 42.20.516

Nebr.

Annually

Sec. 77-1201, R.S., Sec.77-1301, R.S.

Nev.

At least every 5 years (4)

NRS 361.260

N.H.

No provisions

RSA 71-B:16

N.J.

When improvements are made

Sec. 54:4-23, R.S.

N.M.

At least every 2 years

NM Stat Ann Sec. 7-38-7;
NM Stat Ann Sec. 7-36-16; 3 NMAC6.5.23

N.Y.

No provision

N.C.

(2)

Sec. 105-286, G.S.; Sec. 105-287, G.S.

N.D.

Annually

Sec. 57-02-11, NDCC

Ohio

At least once every 6 years

Sec. 5713.01, Ohio R.C.,
Rule 5705-302, Ohio Admin. Code;
Sec. 5715.33, Ohio R.C.

Okla.

Every 4 years

Sec. 2820, Tit. 68, ).S.

Ore.

No provisions

Pa.

Annually

72 P.S. 5341.7, 72 P.S. 5347,
72 P.S. 5354.601

R.I.

Every 10 years

Sec. 44-5-11, G.L.

S.C.

Every 5 years

Sec. 12-43-217, Code

S.D.

No provision

Tenn.

Every 6 years

Sec. 67-5-1601, T.C.A.

Tex.

At least every 3 years

Sec. 25.18, Tax Code

Utah

At least every 5 years

Sec. 59-2-303.1, Utah Code Ann.

Vt.

(3)

Sec. 4041a, Tit. 32, V.S.A.

Va.

Every 2 years in cities and
every 4 years in counties (5)

Sec. 58.1-3250, Code;
Sec. 58.1-3252, Code

Wash.

At least every 4 years

RCW 84.41.030

W.Va.

Annually

Sec. 11-1c-7, Code

Wis.

At least every 5 years

Sec. 70.05(5)(b), Wis. Stats.

Wyo.

At least every 4 years

Rule Ch.9, Sec. 3, WY DR

D.C.

At least every 3 years

Sec. 47-820, D.C. Code

(1) Arkansas counties that completed reappraisal between 2002 and
2004 have a 5-year reappraisal cycle.

(2) North Carolina counties with population of 75,000 or greater must reassess
real property within 3 years if the county's sales assessment ratio is less than .85
or greater than 1.5, or if no change, within 8 years of county's last reassessment.
All other counties: every 8 years.

(3) In Vermont, state assessors calculate current fair market value for all
properties each year, whether or not they have been reassessed locally. When
the aggregate assessment of property in any township is less than 80% of the
state-level "equalized" assessment," the locality must reassess all of its properties.

(4) All counties are moving to a system of annual reappraisal. 
All counties reappraise land every year and Clark County reappraises
both land and buildings annually.

(5) Virginia makes an exception for some counties that allows them to have up
to 6 years between reassessments. (Alleghany, Amelia, Amherst, Appomattox, Bath,
Brunswick, and Buchanan County to name a few.)

Source: Tax Foundation, Commerce Clearing House.

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