Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Kenneth:


Is a mill, as it pertains to property taxes, regarded as a unit of measure like a meter or an hour, etc?

I am somewhat confused as to how 5.345 mills becomes $0.05345.

Usually mills are converted to dollars, but I'm not sure how this is done.

I thank you for your reply and explanation.

A mill is a fictitious (non-minted) unit of currency equal to a tenth of a cent.

mill:per mil:millimeter:milligram:milliliter (etc)
cent:per cent:centimeter:centigram:centiliter (etc)

As far as I know it has never been minted either in the US or Canada, although in the early days of decimal currency it would have been worth significantly more than a cent is now.

Originally it was used in computing property taxes, etc, to allow a tax of (say) 0.3% to be expressed without decimals as "three mills on the dollar". However, as time went by, mill rates tended to become noninteger, especially when a decision was made to increase them by a fixed percentage or to set them to obtain a specified return.


About Math Central


Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.
Quandaries & Queries page Home page University of Regina PIMS