Understanding Property Taxes
This page is intended to help you understand property taxes in general. For specific questions regarding your property values or taxes, please contact our County Auditor or Tax Director.
There are three “moving parts” involved in determining your property taxes:
3.TAXING ENTITIES (or TAXING AUTHORITIES)
We hope the following questions and answers will help you understand what these terms mean and how each one affects your property tax bill.
Question: What is a mill?
Answer: A “mill” is simply 1/1000th of anything:
•1/1000th of one meter is a millimeter
•1/1000th of one gram is a milligram
Question: Why not just use percentages?
Answer: Actually, a mill IS a percentage. It is one tenth of 1 percent, or .1%. •Percent means "per 100." Mills are "per 1000."
•Multiply X .01 to get percent. Multiply X .001 to get mill
Question: How much is a mill worth?
Answer: It depends... As stated above, a mill is 1/1000th of something. On your property tax bill, that "something" is your TAXABLE VALUE. To answer the question, “How much is a mill worth?” you simply take 1/1000 (or .001) times your taxable value.
THE VALUE OF A MILL IS 1/1000th OF YOUR TAXABLE VALUE
Taxable value is calculated by multiplying the “True and Full” value of your property times…
•4.5% for residential property
•5% for agricultural and commercial property
For example, a home that is worth
$200,000.00 has a taxable value of $9,000.
$200,000 X 4.5% = $9,000
Remember, the value of one mill is 1/1000th of the taxable value, so in this case, one mill is $9. (Another term you may hear related to property taxes is “Assessed Value” which is simply ½ of your True and Full value.)
When you pay your property tax bill, you are actually paying taxes to several different TAXING ENTITIES or AUTHORITIES. These are your various forms of local government, including your county, city, township, school board, park board and any other entity that is authorized to levy property taxes.
The example below is not intended to be typical, but demonstrates the point in round figures:
TAXING ENTITY MILLS
School District 115
Park District 15
Water District 5
Library Board 1
Rural Fire/Ambulance 3
UND Medical School* 1
You probably wouldn’t want to get each a separate tax bill from each of those entities, so you get one property tax bill from your county, and the county distributes your payment to each of the other entities. These different entities are governed by different elected officials. Not everyone in the county lives in the same city (or in a city at all), nor do they all live in the same school district or park district. North Dakotans value their right to elect their representatives to the school board, county commission, city commission, etc.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
To combine our two examples above, the NUMBER of mills (250) times the VALUE of each mill ($9) is the total tax. So it would be 250 X $9 = $2,250.
In summary, as it relates to property taxes, a mill is one-tenth of one percent of your taxable value, and your taxable value is either 4.5% (residential) or 5% of your true and full value, also known as "market value."
*The UND Medical School receives one mill from every property tax payer. This is the only property tax assessed by the state.