While the ownership of a condominium is different than ownership of a stand-alone home, property taxes are the same with both types of properties. Your local taxing authority will send a tax bill at its prescribed interval. In addition, your mortgage company may collect a portion of the tax bill with each payment, and pay the bill when it is due from these funds.
Type of Ownership
With a condominium, the owner of the apartment or housing unit is a fee-simple owner of that portion of the building. This ownership is marked by a deed, just like a deed for a stand-alone house. The deed defines exactly which portion of the building you own and will also specify the condominium owner's association, which will care for the common areas of the building, as well as the rights and responsibilities of that association.
Your local taxing authority assesses property taxes on condominium apartments by each housing unit. This means that each owner pays taxes based on a percentage of the assessed value of the unit. The assessor's office determines the value based on its own formula, which includes the size of the unit, condition of the building and the comparative selling price of other similar types of housing.
The common areas of a building that houses condominium housing generally are not assessed taxes separately. The value of the individual housing units covers any taxes that would be due on the common areas. Some jurisdictions still may assess taxes on the common areas, which would be paid by the condominium association out of the fees it charges.
Sometimes confused with condominiums, cooperative housing is different in the type of ownership and how property taxes are assessed. With a co-op apartment or housing unit, you own shares in a corporation, which in turn owns the entire building or development. The local taxing authority assesses taxes to the corporation for the complete property, and the corporation, in turn, collects the taxes from each shareholder as part of the maintenance fees it charges. These taxes are still deductible from your income tax as an itemized deduction, as long as the corporation meets certain conditions. For example, the taxes must be broken down as a separate charge with the association fees.
Craig Woodman began writing professionally in 2007. Woodman's articles have been published in "Professional Distributor" magazine and in various online publications. He has written extensively on automotive issues, business, personal finance and recreational vehicles. Woodman is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in finance through online education.