Following up on our long-running series highlighting the buildings with the highest property taxes across the U.S., we’ve drawn from PropertyShark and CommercialEdge data, along with public records, to compile an up-to-date list of the office assets with the most substantial tax bills.
As expected, the presence of New York City office properties was once again overwhelming with 82 out of 100 entries located in and around Manhattan. Specifically, in 2022, these assets generated roughly $2.2 billion in property tax revenue, accounting for 84% of the total contributed by all 100 properties in the ranking.
Chicago was the runner-up in terms of the number of entries in the nationwide ranking, with 15 office properties from this region garnering $344 million in total property taxes. More important, as we looked at the highest tax-paying office buildings outside of New York City, the Windy City made up the bulk of that list: No fewer than 17 of the top 20 entries were from Chicago, while San Francisco and Washington, D.C. only managed to get three properties in the ranking.
Keep reading to learn more about the full list of U.S. office properties with the highest taxes, as well as which buildings outside of New York City paid the most in 2022.
GM Building Pays Nearly $80 Million in Property Taxes at #1; Willis Tower Only Top-10 Entry Outside NYC
At the very top, the ranking has shown a lot of consistency throughout the years, with the leading spot being claimed once again by the 1.9-million-square-foot General Motors Building. The Midtown office space — which has been owned by Boston Properties for more than a decade now — paid roughly $79.7 million in property taxes in 2022. That’s approximately $14 million more than the runner-up, the MetLife Building (at $65 million).
However, further down the list, there’s been some significant movement between some of the familiar names from last years. For instance, Google-owned 111 Eighth Ave. — which was previously featured in our ranking in seventh place — climbed all the way up to third place with a property tax tally of $54.1 million in 2022. The dramatic jump was the result of an 11% property tax hike, which added some $5.4 million to the tech giant’s payroll.
By contrast, the Solow Building’s property taxes — currently sitting at $49.8 million — have gone down by roughly $4 million. While that reduction might not sound like a lot, it translated into a five-place drop from fourth to ninth place in the ranking.
But, one of the most noteworthy shifts in the ranking was witnessed by 388 and 390 Greenwich St. The two buildings, owned by Citigroup, have been undergoing a massive, $5 billion renovation since 2018. As a result, this led to a property tax increase from $31.6 million to $52.1 million as the work slowly wrapped up, thereby taking the property from 27th place last year to sixth place this year.
Although Chicago’s Willis Tower didn’t make the top 10 last year, it sat comfortably in seventh place this year with a property tax bill of $50.2 million. Notably, it was also the only entry from outside New York City among the 10 buildings with the highest property taxes in 2022.
At the same time, the 1.75-million-square-foot One Vanderbilt was the only 21st-century entry among the 10 highest-ranking office buildings in terms of their property taxes. It owed a total of $50 million in property taxes last year, landing in eighth place. Developed by SL Green in 2020 with sustainability in mind, the 73-story skyscraper features a self-contained power plant and is able to generate as much energy as six football fields of solar panels.
Next, Paramount Plaza’s spot on the list was overtaken by 1290 Avenue of the Americas. While both buildings saw their tax bills decrease, 1290 Avenue of the Americas only shifted its position from #8 to #10, whereas the Paramount Group’s office tower at 1633 Broadway dropped out of the top 10 and landed in 17th place with $42.6 million in property taxes.
Chicago Dominates List of Buildings Outside NYC with Highest Property Taxes
Chicago demonstrated its dominance across the ranking of the top 20 most highly taxed office properties outside of New York City. Namely, no fewer than 17 out of the 20 entries were office towers located in Chicago, with the Willis Tower occupying the top spot ($50 million in property taxes). And, while eight more of the top 10 entries were from Chicago, as well, the drop-off in terms of the overall taxes owed was steep.
For instance, Tishman Speyer’s CME Center in third place paid roughly $30.8 million in property taxes in 2022, whereas the most recently completed Chicago office properties that made the top 20 (the 55-story tower at 110 N. Wacker Drive, completed in 2020) dished out $15.8 million in taxes.
Meanwhile, One Prudential Plaza and Chase Tower were the oldest office properties from Chicago that made the list. Located at 130 E. Randolph St., the development of One Prudential Plaza in 1955 marked a new wave of skyscraper construction in Chicago following the hardships of the Great Depression and the economic strains of World War II. The 41-story office tower (now rebranded as One Pru by leading real estate developer Sterling Bay) paid $27 million in property taxes in 2022 to rank third within the list. Likewise, first opened in 1969 under the name of First National Bank, the Chase Tower had a property tax bill of $14.8 million in 2022, making it the 17th-highest-taxed office building outside of New York City.
Salesforce Tower Remains Highest-Taxed Office Property on West Coast
Properties from California and Washington, D.C. somewhat broke up Chicago’s overwhelming display in the top 20.
In particular, the Salesforce Tower ranked second for property taxes paid in 2022 outside of New York City and finished 24th in the overall ranking after forking over $31 million. Home to 1.4 million square feet of prime San Francisco office space, the building also boasted the highest tax bill for a skyscraper in California: The next entry from the state — the 765,900-square-foot Park Tower at Transbay — paid roughly half of that, coming in at #12 on the list.
Finally, the Midtown Center in Washington, D.C. ranked 18th with $15.7 million in property taxes last year. Designed by SHoP Architects and WDG Architecture and completed in 2018, the Carr Properties-owned asset is an 865,000-square-foot office building comprised of two towers bridged by three pedestrian bridges that extend 100 feet across the plaza below.
This study is based on data collected from PropertyShark and CommercialEdge, as well as proprietary research on office buildings with the highest property taxes. In an effort to ensure the accuracy of the data to the best of our ability, we verified tax values with the official websites of the respective assessors and tax treasurers.
Properties with tax exemptions were excluded from the list, and tax rates presented reflect individual parcels.
Cook County properties are taxed in biennial installments. For the purposes of this study, we used 2021 values, as it constituted the most recent data available for this county.
- Time Warner Center tax value is formed out a sum of 2 parcels: 1-01049-1002 & 1-01049-1004
- 399 Park Ave tax value is formed out a sum of 2 parcels: 1-01308-1101 & 1-01308-1102
- Bloomberg Building tax value is formed out a sum of 3 parcels: 1-01313-1001 Thru 1-01313-1003
- CME Center tax value is formed out a sum of 3 parcels: 17-16-200-022-0000, 17-16-200-023-0000 & 17-16-200-024-0000
- Leo Burnett Building tax value is formed out a sum of 3 parcels: 17-09-426-030-0000, 17-09-426-032-0000 & 17-09-426-033-0000
- Citadel Center tax value is formed out of a sumt of 18 parcels: 17-16-213-026-0000 Thru 17-16-213-044-0000
- River Point tax value is formed out of a sumt of 4 parcels: 17-09-306-033-0000 Thru 17-09-306-037-0000
- 900 North Michigan Avenue tax value is formed out of a sumt of 4 parcels: 17-03-211-024-0000, 17-03-211-025-0000, 17-03-211-034-0000 & 17-03-211-035-0000
- 155 North Wacker Drive tax value is formed out a sum of 2 parcels: 17-09-429-018-0000 & 17-09-429-019-0000
- One North Wacker tax value is formed out of a sum of 4 parcels: 17-09-454-001-0001 Thru 17-09-454-008-0000