Why does my assessment say "improved?"

Single family homes are described on tax bills as “Res Single Family Improved,” which means your property has an improvement on it from a bare lot  — your house. It does not indicate an improvement to your home from last year; it’s a way to differentiate between properties with buildings and those without buildings.  

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1. What do my taxes pay for?
2. What affects my tax bill?
3. When are taxes due?
4. How and where can I pay my taxes?
5. Is there a penalty if I miss the property tax due date?
6. Why do I pay school taxes when I don't have children going to school?
7. What if there’s a revenue surplus? Will my taxes go down?
8. Can I pay my tax bill via a credit card?
9. What if I'm paying property taxes as part of my mortgage?
10. Why does my assessment say "improved?"
11. How can I find the amount I paid in property tax last year?
12. How are property assessments and taxes related?