What Are Municipal Taxes?

By Mason Kaho
Schools, their funding, municipal taxes
school bus image by michele goglio from Fotolia.com

Municipal taxes are taxes levied by local governments and typically take the form of property taxes. They pay for a number of civic needs.

What Municipal Taxes Fund

The local school budget is typically funded via municipal taxes. In addition, municipal taxes go to support fire and police departments, hospitals, and services such as trash removal and road repair.

Frequency of Assessment

Based on a variety of factors, property values change over time; municipal governments reassess property values on a rolling basis to ensure appropriate taxes.

Percentage of Value

The actual municipal tax that an owner must pay is a relatively small percentage of the assessed value of his or her property.

Renters' Contribution

Since they do not own property, renters do not directly receive a municipal tax bill. However, the cost of the municipal tax on their property is typically passed on to them by landlords in their rent.

Underfunding

In some localities, citizens have undertaken a so-called tax "revolt," putting caps on how high the government can raise their municipality taxes. In such situations governments are often incapable of expanding or improving services, such as school systems or libraries.

About the Author

Mason Kaho has been writing for over 15 years, since he was an editor for his school newspaper and worked in his university's office of communications. He has a master's degree in public policy and has published many online items for science-based organizations.