Some states require that all municipalities value property at the same assessment-to-market value ratio. Equalization rates are used to ensure that property taxes are assessed equally and in proportion to fair market value across all municipalities.

Equalization seeks to ensure that a taxpayer in one community, whose property has a fair market value of $100,000 will pay the same taxes as a property with a fair market value of $100,000 located in another town, regardless of how those two properties are assessed.