While it’s easy to consider your property taxes as just another expense that drives up your monthly mortgage payment, they actually have a great deal of value and contribute to many of the services you use every day as a homeowner. If you’re about to buy a house in Irvine but aren’t knowledgeable about how property taxes work and why they’re important, take a look at the article below.
Revenue Stays in Your County
When property taxes are collected from homeowners, the revenue stays within the county in which it’s collected and is used by local governments to provide services for county residents. Though the way property tax revenue is distributed varies by county, you can be sure the taxes you pay are being used in your community. It may be used to improve local bridges and water lines, fund local schools, maintain and construct new roads in the community, and pay for police, firefighters, and emergency responders.
Funding for Road Construction and Maintenance
No one wants their community roads to become unsafe and riddled with potholes. Property taxes help fund local road construction and maintenance, including the construction of new residential streets, street cleaning, traffic light installation and repair, fresh asphalt, road markings, and patching potholes.
Funding for Maintenance of Public Lands
Every time you take a stroll down a sidewalk, use public transportation, hike on a recreational trail, or visit a local park, you are most likely enjoying your property taxes at work. Any public lands in the community that aren’t funded or owned by the state are paid for with property taxes. This includes sidewalks, trails, public transit, traffic and streetlights, and community parks.
Funding for Schools
In Orange County, an average of 62 percent of a homeowner’s property taxes go toward funding public schools. The taxes you pay go directly toward paying teachers’ salaries, building and maintaining schools, purchasing new school equipment, and improving school performance. While local school districts also receive state and federal funding, all local school districts in Orange County rely heavily on property tax revenue for support.
Funding for Public Safety and Services
Paying property taxes also helps keep you safe by paying for municipal employees like firefighters, police, and the local public works department. A large chunk of your property taxes pay for salaries and benefits of public safety employees and support personnel, including 911 dispatchers. When a city needs to hire more public safety workers like emergency response, police, and firefighters, it often leads to an increase in property taxes. Taxes are even used to fund hospitals, libraries, and other services you will likely use as a resident.
If you itemize your deductions, you can reduce your taxable income by deducting the property taxes you pay on your home. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the property tax deduction saves homeowners across the country about $35 billion every year.
When living in Irvine, you can be sure your property taxes are helping make the community an even better place to live. If you’re interested in seeing the latest home listings in Irvine, get in touch with reliable local real estate agents at 714-454-6304. We hope to hear from you soon.