Anna and Patrick are both correct. The assesed value is determined by the department of finance and this is what the property taxes are based on. The market price is based on similar property sales in the surrounding area within the last 6 months. You will almost, always see a difference in the two.
Hope this helps. Best of luck to you and have a happy new year.
Equity Source Home Loans
Here is the informed answer to your question. Unfortunately the earlier replied missed the mark. When real estate agents and market participants talk about market value they mean market value right now. The market value right now is influenced by comparable sales of similar homes and competing properties listed for sale.
Appraisers and assessors estimate market value for property owners, lenders, and property assessment purposes as of a specific date in time (know as the effective date of the appraisal or assessment). If the effective date of the last assessment was January 1, 2010, that considered comparable sales in 2009, of course the market value on December 30, 2010, is going to be very different. Most assessments DO REFLECT MARKET VALUE (and they are NOT determined by the finance department). Assessors are just using a different effective date and using mass-appraisal techniques (studying large amounts of data to value all properties in their community).
To find out more about market value now talk to a real estate agent. To understand assessments call your local assessor.
Market value is what a house could be listed for if selling in the current market. It's based off of current sales as well as currently listed homes. For example if you had a 3 bedroom 2 bath home, then you compare it to other 3 bed 2 baths in the same location and condition and if they are selling for $300,000 then the current market value would be about the same. There is a little more to it then that, but that's the jist of it.