Ad Valorem Tax Law and Legal Definition

Ad valorem is a Latin term meaning "based on value," which applies to property taxes based on a percentage of the county's assessment of the property's value. The assessed value is the standard basis for local real property taxes, although some place "caps" (maximums) on the percentage of value or "parcel taxes", which establish a flat rate per parcel. Ad valorem taxes may also be applied to personal property, such as a duty on imported items and motor vehicles. Exemptions from ad valorem taxes are granted on a state-by-state basis, such as to a warehouse business that ship goods out-of-state.