What Is a Mill in Real Estate: Understanding Property Taxes

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Written By Tommy

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If you’re a homeowner, you’re probably familiar with the term “mill rate.” But what is a mill in real estate? And how does it affect your property taxes? This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about mills and how they are applied in determining property taxes.

Table of Contents

What is a Mill in Real Estate?

What is a mill in real estate? The term “mill” comes from the Latin word “mille,” which means “thousand.” In real estate, one mill rate is the equivalent of a $1 tax on a property valued at $1,000.

The mill rate is a method some districts use to calculate property taxes. The mill rate is a variable in the formula used to calculate the total tax amount due on a given piece of real estate.

A tax notice will include a variety of complex and technical words, such as 

  • Appraised value: This is a fair market value of a property.
  • Assessment ratio: The percentage of the property’s value will be taxed.
  • Assessed value: A property’s taxable value is calculated by multiplying the appraised value with the assessment ratio.
  • Mill: One-thousandth of one dollar (1/1,000 per $1).
  • Tax rates or Millage: The tax rate applied to the assessed property value.

How Do Mills Work in the Real Estate industry?

Mill rates are determined by municipals’ or districts’ financial needs. Property taxes are what keep municipalities and school districts running. They pay for a large portion of their operating expenses. As their costs go up, so does their mill rate.

Mills are used in real estate to calculate property taxes. Property taxes are computed by multiplying the property’s assessed value by the mill rate. For instance, if a property is assessed at $100,000 and the mill rate is 20, the property tax bill would be $2,000.

How Are Real Estate Tax Rates Determined?

In many states, local governments rely almost entirely on property tax revenue to fund their operations. These governments often tax property owners in multiple jurisdictions, such as cities and counties.

Government entities set mill rates based on the total property value within their jurisdictions to cover necessary costs such as infrastructure, police, and schools. Because property values can fluctuate, tax assessors usually update the value of a property every year. Mill or property tax rates vary for various properties and locations.

The property tax is ad Valorem, meaning it is based on the value of a property. The assessed value of your property is calculated based on the local real estate market and is a percentage of the fair market value of that property, determined by multiplying the market value of that property or the appraised price by a certain assessment rate.

The actual market value of your property can be lower or higher than its assessment. If you believe this to be the case, you can request a reassessment.

In certain states, the assessed value of a home is capped at a certain amount. So, for example, in a state with 5,000 home provisions, if your home is worth $200,000, only $150,000 of that value will be taxed.

Complaint of Mill Rates

Property taxes are the primary source of funding for local governments. The municipal association says property taxes account for about 26% of city revenues. The tax policy center notes that property tax makes up most of the tax revenue for the district, county, and municipal governments.

South Carolina is one place that has implemented policies and regulations that try to prevent property taxes from creating an unmanageable burden on property owners. However, these taxes can be difficult to predict from year to year, thanks to the unpredictability of the economy.

While rising taxes can burden citizens, the local government can opt to raise taxes to meet budgetary needs. However, this places a greater financial burden on taxpayers struggling with financial hardships.

Another problem is the valuation of properties to which tax rates are applied. Not all tax authorities consider the property’s revenue to help lighten the tax burden on individual owners. And some locations conduct property evaluations annually, increasing the likelihood of higher property tax bills each year.

While property taxes are a pain, some states regulate them and provide relief through ” property tax circuit breakers” programs and homestead deductions and exemptions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the mill rate calculated?

The mill rate is calculated by dividing a property’s assessed value by 1,000.

Which of the following is a dollar value of a mill?

There is no definitive answer to this question as the value of a mill can vary depending on several factors, including the location of the property in question and the current market conditions. However, as a general rule of thumb, one mill is typically equal to $1,000 in terms of real estate.

What is a mill in finance?

A mill is a real estate tax levied as a property value percentage.


So, what is a mill in real estate? A mill is $1 for every $1,000 property value in the real estate industry. A mill rate is used to determine a property tax. The tax is what keeps cities, counties, and districts operating. If these services’ costs increase, property taxes will also increase.