Property tax records are public records and require no fee to search, states SFGate. This form of taxation happens at the county level, and most counties make these records available for searching online.
Property tax databases typically allow searching by address, though some also require a parcel or assessor's ID number, notes SFGate. Records often include property address, recent sale price, assessed value and property tax due.
Property taxes follow a budget-based system, which means that counties establish how much money they need to operate each year and divide that among taxpayers, notes HowStuffWorks. The county assessor establishes the value of real property within the county every few years in order to distribute the tax burden equitably, notes Assessor.com. He keeps the public record of assessments and property transfers.