Document Type



Taxation-State and Local | Tax Law


An important change may be taking place in the distribution of the property tax. Residential property is seemingly paying an increasing share of the property tax, whereas commercial, industrial, and agricultural properties are paying less.

This article identifies the trends responsible for the potential property tax burden shift. Numerous property tax reforms may have contributed to the erosion of the property tax. These reforms include: (1) administrative improvements, (2) modern assessment tools to achieve uniformity, (3) attempts to equalize assessments, (4) property tax abatements, (5) exemptions for personal property, and (6) exemptions for livestock and farm equipment. The article proposes three relief measures that can mitigate the potential shift of the property tax burden to homeowners: (1) circuit breakers, (2) classified property taxes, and (3) homestead exemptions. The article concludes by addressing possible property tax issues in the coming decade, and examines an alternative perspective on the current changes in the property tax.