It’s no great secret that homeowners get some pretty good tax breaks. Your mortgage lender, Realtor, and numerous magazine and newspaper article tout the advantages of owning versus renting.

That the first $500,000 is exempt from capital gains for a couple is an enticing incentive to buy a home, live in it for a few years, and then sell and move up to bigger home. This in part fuels the high demand for houses and homeownership, which is good for the economy.

But there’s also a flip side: Now that you own a home, you become subject to a hefty property tax on your home’s value. How much depends on the state you live in and it can vary widely. Because this tax depends on the value of your home according the ...

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