Sometimes referred to as an assessment roll, the tax roll is a list of all property that is subject to taxes. Tax rolls are a common instrument of use for cities, townships, counties and parishes. The roll will identify every taxable property that is physically located within the jurisdiction. This makes it possible to maintain accurate records for the purpose of assessing property taxes for the upcoming fiscal year.
The detail that is included in a tax roll can vary slightly from one jurisdiction to another. However, just about every one will contain a few common pieces of information. The tax roll will list the owner of record for each property on the list, along with the physical address of the property. There will also be a legal description of the property; often this detail is identical to that listed on the deed that is registered for the property in question. There will also be an assessment of the current taxable value of the property.
Most examples of a tax roll will also include an assessment or roll number for each property listed on the document. The roll number is more or less for the internal use of the jurisdiction, and can be utilized as a quick means of pulling up all relevant data on a given piece of property. Roll numbers tend to remain the same from one tax period to the next, and may be configured with numbers only, or be an alphanumeric combination if this approach works best for the jurisdiction.
In many cases, the updating of the tax roll for an upcoming tax period must occur by a certain time of year, usually a month or two before the actual beginning of the new fiscal year. For example, if the fiscal year happens to coincide with the calendar year, the jurisdiction may be required to complete the latest version of the tax roll, including the revision of any value assessments, by October 1. This provides a window to notify property owners of any changes in value assessments before the new fiscal year begins and property taxes become due.