Arkansas Property Taxes
Overview of Arkansas Property Taxes
Every homeowner in the state of Arkansas is obligated to pay property taxes every year. Arkansas property taxes are administered at the state, county, city, and school district level. Property taxes are an important source of revenue for school districts, counties, and cities. Property taxes primarily fund government services like county and city roads, law enforcement, and fire departments among others.
The state and its local governments collect $25 billion in total revenue every year. Of that, $2.2 billion or 8.7% of total revenue is from property taxes. Generally, Arkansas is a low tax state as indicated by the lower percentage of property taxes compared to total revenue collected. The average homeowner pays $6.40 for every $1,000 of home value in property taxes. The average Arkansas property tax bill adds up to $890. However, the figure fluctuates from county to county. For instance, homeowners in Arkansas County pay an average of $560 while those in Benton County pay $1,414.
How do Arkansas property taxes work? It starts with property appraisal. Each county has professional appraisers who are responsible for valuing properties for taxation. The property must be valued at its "market value", or the amount it would sell for in the open market. However, Arkansas property taxes are applied on the assessed value, not the appraised value. States laws dictate that properties be assessed at 20% of their market value. For instance, if your home has an appraised value of $200,000, the assessed value would be ($200,000 x 20%) $40,000. Tax rates are then applied to that amount to get your annual Arkansas property tax bill.
Arkansas property tax rates are determined by the local taxing districts depending on their budgetary requirements. They are expressed in mills where a mill is equivalent to 1/1,000. If your home has an assessed value of $40,000 and is located in a taxing district with a tax rate of 30 mills, your annual Arkansas property tax bill would add up to ($40,000 x 30/1000) $1,200.
If you are planning to buy a home in Arkansas and want to understand how much your property tax bill could potentially cost, check out our Arkansas Property Tax Tool to see what your bill would be.
Arkansas Property Tax Due Dates
Arkansas state laws require that properties be assessed between January 1st and May 31st each year. Homeowners should receive the Notice of Changes in Assessment no later than 10 business days after July 1 of each assessment year. Failure to receive a tax bill does not excuse you from paying Arkansas property taxes. If you fail to receive a tax bill by July 1, contact your county collector as soon as possible.
When are property taxes due in Arkansas? Property taxes are payable from the first business day of March to October 15 every year. The state allows homeowners to pay Arkansas property taxes in three installments. The first installment must be at least 25% of the tax bill and is payable on the third Monday in April. The second installment of at least 25% is due the third Monday in July. The final installment must be at least 50% of the tax and is due on October 15.
Taxes that remain unpaid after Arkansas property tax due dates result in a penalty computed at 10% of the base amount plus collector's fees. If the taxes are unpaid one year after the due date, you forfeit your home to the state. The state offers you a one-year "redemption period" in which to clear delinquent taxes, penalties, and other costs. After the redemption period, the county collector transfers your home to the Commissioner of State Lands. The Commissioner is tasked with auctioning properties whose owners have failed to pay Arkansas property taxes.
Arkansas Property Tax Exemptions
Besides the option to appeal property taxes if you believe your home was wrongly valued, the state of Arkansas offers several exemptions to eligible homeowners. They include homestead and senior exemptions. Homeowners who qualify for these exemptions can reduce their Arkansas property tax bill. However, you must comply with Arkansas property tax due dates regardless of your eligibility.
Arkansas Homestead Exemption
Arkansas' homestead exemption protects struggling homeowners from losing their property to creditors in case of bankruptcy. The state protects up to $2,500 of your home's equity and a minimum of 1/4 acre for urban properties. Homeowners who own property in rural Arkansas can protect up to 160 acres under this provision. However, the exemption has no bearing on the accrual of Arkansas property taxes. The state also offers a homestead property tax credit of up to $375 per year. In both cases, you must be using the property as your principal residence to qualify.
Arkansas Senior Citizens Exemption
Arkansas' senior exemption caps the taxable assessed value for homesteads owned and occupied by residents aged 65 and older at what they were in the base year (2001). This means Arkansas property taxes are applied on the property's value as of 2001 unless there are new additions or substantial improvements on the property. If the property is improved or expanded, the state allows taxing authorities to increase the base year assessment accordingly.
Other Arkansas property tax exemptions include the disabled veterans' exemption. Under this provision, veterans who are totally disabled, totally blind in one or two eyes, lost the use of one or more limbs, and whose disabilities are 100% related to military service are completely exempted from paying Arkansas property taxes. Surviving, unmarried spouses of veterans killed in action or those who died as a result of service-connected disabilities also qualify for this exemption. The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs can assist eligible homeowners to claim their benefits.
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Arkansas
The state of Arkansas allows you to appeal property taxes if you have evidence showing that your property was wrongly assessed. A successful appeal can lower your Arkansas property tax bill. However, it is noteworthy that you can only appeal the assessment, not the taxes or tax rates. The first step of appeal is setting up an informal meeting with your county's contracted reappraisal firm. During this meeting, you discuss your property's valuation and assessment with a real estate appraiser. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, you can file a formal appeal with the Board of Equalization on or before the third Monday in August. The BOE's decisions can be appealed to the County Court in which the hearing will be before a County Judge. Further appeal avenues include the Circuit Court and the Arkansas Supreme Court.
The process of filing an assessment appeal varies across Arkansas though it generally follows the same steps from county to county:
- Obtain your assessment
- Determine if you are overassessed
- Complete forms needed to appeal
- File property tax appeal
- Prepare for hearing
- Attend hearing
- Appeal the decision
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Pulaski County
For a better understanding of how to appeal your property taxes in Arkansas, the following is a breakdown of the process in Pulaski County, the most populous county in Arkansas.
Obtain your assessment
Details about your property's assessment can be found on your Notice of Changes in Assessment. Alternatively, you can consult the County Assessor.
Determine if you are over-assessed
The best source of evidence about a property's value is comparing sales of similar property within the same neighborhood. TaxProper's search tool can help you search for sales of similar units within your locality and compare their sales prices with the value placed on your property.
Complete forms needed to appeal
The forms you need to appeal property taxes can be obtained from the County Clerk's office.
File property tax appeal
Property tax appeals in Pulaski County are filed with the Board of Equalization (BOE). You can call the County Clerk to schedule a hearing. The appeal must be in person or by letter to the secretary of the County Board of Equalization on or before the third Monday in August.
Prepare for hearing
Preparing for an appeal hearing involves presenting solid evidence supporting your opinion of value. The evidence can include but is not limited to comparable sales, photos showing the property's undesirable condition, an appraisal report, and a comparison of properties with similar characteristics. Remember the burden of proof is on you as the homeowner.
The Board of Equalization requires you to attend a property tax appeal hearing. You may be required to answer questions from members of the Board. However, you can also send a representative.
Appeal the decision
You can appeal the BOE's decision to the County Court, the Circuit Court and as a last resort, the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Property Tax Information for Arkansas Counties
The table below provides county-level information about how property taxes work in each Arkansas county.
Want to learn more? Click the county links to learn more about a specific Arkansas county.
|County||Average Home Value||Average Tax Bill||Bill per $1,000|
|Hot Spring County||$104,538||$601||$5.70|
|Little River County||$88,514||$437||$4.90|
|St. Francis County||$95,368||$515||$5.40|
|Van Buren County||$120,250||$584||$4.90|