Paying taxes is one of the important obligations to all citizens. The textbook explanation of ‘why we pay taxes’ is to assist the government in funding its functions and more importantly give the government the financial power to provide social amenities. The process of paying taxes is however complicated, and the complexity is arguably one of the reasons why people find it hard to keep up with tax returns and other related tax issues.
The following are some of the taxes in the United States:
- Income tax
Income tax is arguably one of the most common forms of taxes in the USA. According to a 2016 report by an independent institute, income tax is one of the avenues the federal government collects the highest amount of revenue. Over the years, income taxes have changed — through different legal procedures — to attain equity and match with financial realities in the world of income.
- Sales tax
Sales tax is also one of the ways the government collects revenue from the business space. Like the income tax, this type of tax is one of the biggest revenue pools for the government. Due to its complexity and sensitivity, this form of tax has undergone through different reviews and changes to match the business realities. In addition, sales tax is one of the few taxes that are subject to amendments and discussions by various governmental bodies.
- Property tax
Property tax is arguably one of the most misunderstood forms of taxes. Unlike other types of taxes, it is subject to different factors. In different states, for example, there is a unique approach to property tax, and more importantly, the tax percentages differ. Orange County, for example, has different tax laws and procedures. Fortunately, Orange County Tax Collector is a game changer in this unique tax niche.
What makes Orange County Tax laws on property market unique?
Orange County shares the same tax ideals and principles with the other counties in the USA. However, federal finance laws give this county the freedom to tune their tax collection laws with the present financial realities. The unique approach to tax collection — especially in property markets — makes this niche complex. Some of the unique features of this county in property tax laws include the following.
- Payments and calculations are unique and different
Calculations of property tax and the mode of payments are some of the factors that make this county unique. This is one of the first counties to diversify tax payment options on property tax. First, there is an online option — Orange County website — that is a secure option. Second, county government also works with other trusted entities in collecting these taxes. Regardless of the payment option, personal information is secure. An alternative option is visiting Santa Ana’s offices and paying the taxes in person.
Over the years, Orange County has maintained one of the best property tax rates of 0.72 percent compared to the national average, which is almost double this rate. Therefore, to estimate the amount you are supposed to pay to the government, you multiply the property value with the tax rate (which is 0.72%).
- Is the property tax value subject to changes or is it static?
Just like other taxes in the USA, tax percentage and values are subject to changes. The main reasons why tax values are not static is because the economy and the property values are also not static. Although these rules are subject to changes, after consultations within the relevant bodies, it is vital to appreciate the fact that the changes are in tax value, not tax percentage on the property value.
Just like in other places in the USA, there are different tax exemptions. Unlike other counties in the USA, the tax exemptions are unavailable on the county’s website or any other affiliate website. Due to security reasons, these forms are sent through personal mail address after physical application. The county has also ratified who qualifies for exemptions and who is not eligible for tax exemption. The first priority to tax exemptions are homeowners living in their properties. However, they must be living in the property since the first day of the tax period.
It is essential to understand that tax deadlines in this county are important just like in other parts of the USA. Any late payment is a recipe for additional charges, and this can affect your liability in the long run.