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A property tax is a tax on land and structures built on it; payments go to state and/or local governments to fund and pay for police protection, public schools, libraries, street maintenance, etc.
The amount of property tax is determined locally by a formula, usually based on a percent per $1,000 of the assessed value of the property.
Property taxes are often associated specifically with real estate, but also can be on boats, automobiles (often paid along with license fees), recreational vehicles, and business inventories.