Levy Terms & Definitions

Maintenance & Operations (M&O) Levy: A special tax on property voted by the people to pay for day-to-day educational programs and operations in a school district.

Tax Rate: The amount of tax collected per unit of assessed property value; usually stated in dollars collected per one thousand dollars of assessed value. Example: $3.96/$1,000 of assessed value.

Assessed Value: The total value of real property (land and buildings) as determined by the county assessor.

Appraised (Market) Value: The total value of real property (land and buildings) as determined by a professional appraiser on a specific date. An appraisal is ordered for the specific purpose of determining the current market value, or sales price, during the mortgage origination process.


After purchasing a home, you may have numerous dollar amounts floating around your memory, leaving you wondering what the actual value of your property really is. Well, that depends on who is asking. Let’s look at an example and why there are so many different amounts attached to the same piece of property.

Jack and Jill Taxpayer bought a home in 2009. The asking price was $240,000. Jack and Jill put in an offer and bought the home for $235,000 (purchase price). When Jack and Jill’s lender had the home appraised, the market value was determined to be $215,000 (appraised value). Then comes tax time, and Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer see that their property has an assessed value of $200,000. What number should Jack and Jill use when determining how the proposed M&O Levy affects them?

Taxes are based on assessed property values determined by the county assessor. So in the example above, Jack and Jill can figure out how much the proposed M&O Levy is going to cost them according to their property’s assessed value of $200,000 using these charts.

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