It's December again and consequently for property owners like me time to contemplate what to do with the "Real Property Tax" or RPT for next year, 2016.
Early bird payers of the RPT may get a discount, the amount varies from city to city or municipality.
In 2011 we paid for the first time our property tax. We invited the treasurer with her helpers to our house and discussed the classification and market value of the land and house. The classification was determined as residential for part of our lot and the rest was classified as orchard and rice land.
So our tax bill has four components: 1) rice land, 2) orchard land, 3) residential land and 4) house & buildings. It is a reasonable amount compared with what I payed in the past in the Netherlands for a much smaller property.
Only recently I was informed that you can get a discount. In our municipality Santa Barbara, the discount is 20% if you pay in advance of the taxable year, so in December, and 10% if you decide to pay in January of the same year. This year we decided to go for the 20% discount and meanwhile we have payed already.
If you make use of the possibility to pay in 4 quarterly terms, obviously you don't get any discount at all.
Here is an informative site discussing the RPT discounts in the capital area.