Does Building a Deck Increase Property Taxes?

by Bob Haring, Demand Media

    Building a deck on your house will increase your living space and add value to your home when you get ready to sell it. Unfortunately, it also will almost certainly add to your real estate taxes. Assessors, who place values on houses for property taxes, look for improvements that increase the value of a property. Your deck qualifies.

    Taxes Vary

    How much a deck will affect your property tax will depend on the size, style and construction of your deck. It also will depend on your area. Property tax rates vary widely across the country. A deck won't be assessed as a separate entity, but will figure into the overall assessed value of your home. It won't count as much as a room addition, but will figure into a higher home value.

    Time to Tax Varies

    How long it takes before your deck adds to your property tax assessment depends on where you live. Some local assessors follow building permits and will reassess a house when a permit is issued for a significant improvement, like a deck. Other assessors work on a regular schedule, every two, three or even five years, so a deck you build now may not affect your assessment for several years

    Local Tax Rates Determine Tax

    How much a deck adds to your property tax depends on the tax rates in your area. Most property taxes are assessed at the county level, but in some states school districts, municipalities and such special government units as fire protection districts levy taxes based on property assessments.

    Big Decks Add More

    Size matters. A 20-by-20-foot deck will add more value, and more tax, than a simple 10-foot square wood deck. The type of construction also will affect the assessment. More elaborate decks with built-in fireplaces will add more tax than a basic wood deck. Investigate the tax situation with your tax office before you build your deck.

    About the Author

    Bob Haring has been a news writer and editor for more than 50 years, mostly with the Associated Press and then as executive editor of the Tulsa, Okla. "World." Since retiring he has written freelance stories and a weekly computer security column. Haring holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri.