When most of us think of property taxes, we think of the taxes we pay on our home and the property it’s built on. These taxes can be quite large, depending upon the area of the country in which you live, and the funds generally go to support the local government’s budget. But in most states, you’re paying personal property taxes, too. These are taxes on other large items you own, like automobiles, boats, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, aircraft and utility trailers most notably.
Personal property taxes are assessed by the state where the vehicle or other item is registered. Different states use different methods of collection. For example, in some states, you pay one year’s worth of property tax on a vehicle when you register it, and then each year you’ll pay property tax when you renew your license plate. In some states, all license plates are renewed in January, but in other states the renewal date falls on the birthday of the individual to whom the vehicle is registered, so in those states, personal property taxes are being collected all year long. Some states collect personal property taxes once each year, sending out a tax bill to residents for all their personal property at one time.