Tax Bills & How They Work
If I multiply my quarterly bill by 4 that is my annual tax right? This question and others similar to it are asked all the time in the Assessor's Office. The following is an overview of how the quarterly tax billing system works.
The real estate taxes are calculated on a fiscal year basis. The fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. With quarterly billing the first and second installments, which are due August 1 and November 1, are preliminary amounts. They are based on what was paid in the previous fiscal year. (Normally 1 quarter of the previous years tax.) This can fluctuate minimally during interim adjustment years.
Therefore, to calculate the actual tax bills we take your property value times the tax rate, subtract the first 2 installments (the preliminary bills), which leaves a balance for the remaining 6 months. This total is then divided in half to be broken into 2 payments, 3rd and 4th installments, which are due February 1 and May 1. These are the actual bills. Essentially a 12-month increase is only shown on the last 2 payments of the year.
Therefore, you can never simply take your total tax for the year and divide it by 4 or take 1 quarter's bill and multiply it by 4.