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The Tax Foundation is the nation’s leading independent tax policy nonprofit. Since 1937, our principled research, insightful analysis, and engaged experts have informed smarter tax policy at the federal, state, and global levels. For over 80 years, our goal has remained the same: to improve lives through tax policies that lead to greater economic growth and opportunity.
The property tax is a tax on the market value of privately owned property, including land, cars, business inventory, etc. Although the property tax is the principal source of revenue for localities, broad consensus has not been reached on the basic issue of whether property taxes are regressive, proportional or progressive. Property tax liability is calculated by multiplying the nominal property tax rate by the assessment ratio (the percentage of the value of the property that is taxed) by the value of the property.