What problems are generated by inequality in assessments for taxpayers?
Variation in assessment levels can create problems for taxpayers. Most obvious is the unfair distribution of the tax burden among taxpayers within the same taxing jurisdiction.

If, for example, two adjacent houses with identical market values of $60,000 were assessed at different levels of their full value, say 10 % and 30%, one house would have an assessed value of $6,000 and the other of $18.000. Under a tax rate of 8% ($8 per $100 of assessed valuation) the first homeowner would have a tax bill of $480, while the second would pay $1440, even though their houses have the same market value. Assessors should prevent this type of inequality by assessing at a uniform level within a jurisdiction.

However, even if uniformity exists within a given jurisdiction, inequities can arise because of differences in assessment levels among different assessing jurisdictions. If, for example, one township in a county was assessed at an average level of 20% of full value and another 40% and both townships were in the same school district, property owners in the township assessed at the higher level would, on average, be paying twice as much in school taxes as property owners in the other township.

Uniformity in average assessment levels among assessing jurisdictions (i.e., among township, or multi-townships) prevents this type of inequality. In addition, uniformity among County average assessment levels is important because distribution formulas for State grants-in-aid for education, highways, and public assistance include the assessed valuation as a component. Uniform assessment levels also ensure an equal basis for applying tax rates and bonded indebtedness limitations to units of local government.

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1. What is an assessment?
2. Who assesses property?
3. Who oversees that the assessment work is completed each year?
4. When are initial assessments complete?
5. Are taxpayers notified about the assessments on their property?
6. What property is exempt from property tax?
7. What property tax relief is available?
8. What problems are generated by inequality in assessments for taxpayers?