2022 U.S. Property Taxes by State Report
One of the oldest forms of taxation, property taxes are one of the primary forms of revenue streams for local governments. They’re used to fund public services and programs, such as schools; emergency services (including fire and police departments); infrastructure development and upkeep; parks and recreation; sanitation (including pest control, like mosquito abatement); public works; government employee payrolls; and more.
While property tax rates can vary significantly by state, all states apply them to all properties, as well as land. Therefore, it’s essential to know how property taxes are determined. Additionally, property taxes can also vary within different areas of a state, as well, because local governments may charge differing rates or additional taxes to fund specific programs and services — such as an added county-level tax for capital infrastructure developments or even within certain parts of a larger city to garner additional funds for a specific school district.
Property Taxes by State
Property taxes can vary significantly from state to state, leading to a difference of potentially thousands of dollars in a homeowner’s bill for essentially identical properties. Therefore, it’s crucial to thoroughly research property taxes at both the state level — to get a general idea of a state’s level of taxation — and a very specific local level for an area you may be considering relocating to.
Moreover, it must be kept in mind that tax levies are always set by local governments — such as the city, county or school district — and may include surtaxes for special assessment districts that may be as small as a neighborhood or subdivision.
For an easy overview of a state’s general level of taxation, we calculated each state’s average effective tax rate by dividing the median real estate taxes paid by the median home value, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. Essentially, we defined the average effective tax rate as a percentage of the state median home value.
|State||2020 Average Effective Tax Rate (%)||2020 Median Home Value||2020 Median Property Taxes Paid ($)||2020 Median Income Per Household|
Map of Property Tax Rates by State
Explore the interactive map below for a quick overview of average effective property taxes by state, including Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Hover over or zoom in on each state for additional stats at a glance.
Note: The average effective tax rates displayed on the map above are expressed as a percentage of home value and were calculated by PropertyShark for each individual state by dividing the median real estate taxes paid by the median home value.
States with the Highest Property Taxes
Considering the varying tax rates across the U.S., homeowners relocating from a state with low property taxes to one that charges high levies may be confronted with an unexpected financial cost. However, it’s important to keep in mind that high property taxes do not automatically mean that other taxes — such as sales, income and fuel taxes — will also be high.
Explore below the top 10 states with the highest property taxes in the U.S., according to the average effective tax rate. Also included are the median state home value, the median real estate taxes paid and the median household income.
For an easier overview of the differences in tax rates among the states with the highest property taxes, explore our chart below:
1. New Jersey
- Effective tax rate: 2.47%
- State median home value: $343,500
- Median real estate taxes paid: $8,489
- Median household income: $85,245
New Jersey homeowners contend with the highest average effective property tax rate in the U.S. Paired with the seventh-highest state median home value, New Jersey homeowners have the absolute highest median real estate tax bill in the country at more than $8,000. Plus, New Jersey also charges one of the highest sales taxes at 7%, while its graduated income tax ranges from as low as 1.4% to as high as 10.75%.
- Effective tax rate: 2.24%
- State median home value:$202,100
- Median real estate taxes paid: $4,529
- Median household income: $68,428
Although Illinois has the second-highest property tax rate in the U.S., homeowners face noticeably lower tax bills here than in New Jersey, thanks to the state’s significantly lower median home value. However, Illinois homeowners still pay the sixth-highest median property tax bill in the country. Its 6.25% sales tax is also on the heftier side and is joined by a 4.95% state income tax.
- Effective tax rate: 2.13%
- State median home value: $279,700
- Median real estate taxes paid: $5,966
- Median household income: $79,855
Connecticut’s property taxes are among the absolute highest in the U.S., tied with New Hampshire at a 2.13% effective property tax rate. As a result, Connecticut homeowners pay the third-highest property tax rate in the U.S. And, since Connecticut’s median home value trends higher than that of New Hampshire, Connecticut’s tax dues surpass New Hampshire’s property tax bills in sheer dollar amount. It’s also worth mentioning that while New Hampshire charges no sales tax, Connecticut’s state sales and use tax is 6.35%, the 11th highest nationwide.
4. New Hampshire
- Effective tax rate: 2.13%
- State median home value: $272,300
- Median real estate taxes paid: $5,796
- Median household income: $77,923
Tied with Connecticut at a 2.13% effective property tax rate, New Hampshire homeowners pay somewhat lower bills than Connecticut residents thanks to New Hampshire’s lower state median home value. Regardless, New Hampshire homeowners still have to contend with one of the highest property tax bills in the country, coming in at a median $5,701. However, New Hampshire charges no state sales tax, thereby significantly offsetting the cost of living.
- Effective tax rate: 1.9%
- State median home value: $230,900
- Median real estate taxes paid: $4,392
- Median household income: $63,477
- Effective tax rate: 1.78%
- State median home value: $189,200
- Median real estate taxes paid: $3,370
- Median household income: $63,293
- Effective tax rate: 1.75%
- State median home value: $187,200
- Median real estate taxes paid: $3,281
- Median household income: $63,826
8. New York
- Effective tax rate: 1.72%
- State median home value: $325,000
- Median real estate taxes paid: $5,590
- Median household income: $71,117
- Effective tax rate: 1.68%
- State median home value: $164,000
- Median real estate taxes paid: $2,762
- Median household income: $63,015
10. Rhode Island
- Effective tax rate: 1.57%
- State median home value: $276,600
- Median real estate taxes paid: $4,345
- Median household income: $70,305
- Effective tax rate: 1.56%
- State median home value: $153,900
- Median real estate taxes paid: $2,402
- Median household income: $61,836
- Effective tax rate: 1.56%
- State median home value: $187,500
- Median real estate taxes paid: $2,917
- Median household income: $63,627
States with the Lowest Property Taxes
Some U.S. states (and territories) boast attractively low property tax rates paired with low taxation in other areas, as well. For instance, Louisiana currently has the fifth-lowest property tax rate in the U.S. at 0.55%. And, at 4%, it also has one of the lowest sales taxes in the country, as well, while its state income taxes range between 2% and 6%.
Explore our list below to see the 10 states with the lowest property taxes by their average effective property tax rate. Also included are the median state home value, the median real estate taxes paid and the median household income.
For an easier overview between the differences in tax rates among the states with the lowest property taxes, explore our chart below:
- Effective tax rate: 0.28%
- State median home value: $636,400
- Median real estate taxes paid: $1,788
- Median household income: $83,173
Hawaii currently has the lowest average effective property tax rate in the U.S. at 0.28%. However, because it also features one of the highest median home values, homeowners’ tax bills can still easily surpass that of states with higher rates. Even so, at 4%, the state also has one of the lowest sales tax rates in the country — as states with a thriving tourist industry often do.
- Effective tax rate: 0.41%
- State median home value: $149,600
- Median real estate taxes paid: $608
- Median household income: $52,035
With an effective property tax rate of 0.41% and the eighth-lowest median home value in the U.S., Alabama offers a homeowner-friendly tax environment overall. Plus, its 4% sales tax is also among the lowest in the U.S., while its income tax ranges between 2% and 5% — making this an attractive location for those looking to own a larger home on a lower budget.
- Effective tax rate: 0.51%
- State median home value: $369,900
- Median real estate taxes paid: $1,868
- Median household income: $75,231
Although Colorado’s property tax rate sits at 0.51%, higher home values than in other states with similarly low property tax rates actually leave homeowners here with a bill that’s three times higher than in Alabama. And, while the state income tax sits at a middling 4.63%, Coloradoans do benefit from the lowest sales tax in the country at 2.9%. That’s surpassed only by the seven states that levy no state sales tax at all.
4. Puerto Rico
- Effective tax rate: 0.53%
- State median home value: $111,200
- Median real estate taxes paid: $591
- Median household income: $21,058
- Effective tax rate: 0.55%
- State median home value: $168,100
- Median real estate taxes paid: $926
- Median household income: $50,800
6. South Carolina
- Effective tax rate: 0.57%
- State median home value: $170,100
- Median real estate taxes paid: $962
- Median household income: $54,864
- Effective tax rate: 0.57%
- State median home value: $258,300
- Median real estate taxes paid: $1,468
- Median household income: $69,110
- Effective tax rate: 0.57%
- State median home value: $290,200
- Median real estate taxes paid: $1,660
- Median household income: $62,043
9. Washington, D.C.
- Effective tax rate: 0.57%
- State median home value: $618,100
- Median real estate taxes paid: $3,551
- Median household income: $90,842
10. West Virginia
- Effective tax rate: 0.58%
- State median home value: $123,200
- Median real estate taxes paid: $719
- Median household income: $48,037
- Effective tax rate: 0.60%
- State median home value: $305,400
- Median real estate taxes paid: $1,837
- Median household income: $74,197
- Effective tax rate: 0.61%
- State median home value: $228,000
- Median real estate taxes paid: $1,380
- Median household income: $65,304
- Effective tax rate: 0.62%
- State median home value: $133,600
- Median real estate taxes paid: $828
- Median household income: $49,475
Relocating to a lower property tax state
“There are many other factors that are more important for the average person when considering a move — job, family, and local amenities, to name a few. Property taxes are a bigger consideration when choosing among localities within a region. Once you have decided to move to the Chicago region, for example, there are many different municipalities and school districts available. Property taxes will be a big consideration when choosing among them.”
“Municipalities must get their money to pay for schools, roads, etc. from somewhere. Property taxes are considered the most stable source of revenue for governments as property prices, and therefore revenues, drift up over time. Sales and use tax revenues decline in bad economic conditions and so municipalities eschew those in favor of more stable revenues, which is why food is still taxed in most states, yet it is probably one of the most regressive on lower income folks.
But municipalities (…) they all must tax, they just go about it differently. It becomes very complicated quickly. There are homestead and other forms of exemptions that make direct comparisons between states very difficult. You need to look at the entire tax package. At a minimum, you should also consider income and sales tax. Also, does it tax on food or not? Services? Fees? All sorts of taxes need to be considered. Location, Location, Location.
For example, Hawaii has, by far, the lowest state property tax rate at 0.28%. It also has a low state sales tax (4%). So why isn’t everyone moving there? Hawaii has an 11% income tax (ouch). Let’s compare Florida, Texas, and California. Florida and Texas don’t have income tax and California has the highest income tax rate in the country. The data indicates folks are moving from California to Florida and Texas.
Yet, at 0.89% Florida is slightly below the national average property tax rate of 1.11% and Texas is seventh highest in property tax rates at 1.8%. Meanwhile, California is 16th lowest in property tax rates at 0.76%.
It appears they are fleeing California because of the highest income tax rate in the country. So, other factors are at play that outweigh property tax as a deciding factor. In other words, they must tax you somehow and you have to look at the whole “nest” of taxes to figure out if that state is the one you want to build your nest in.
However, within my state and most likely yours, it also depends on the county and city property taxes. I live near the county line, and I could move less than a mile away and save about a quarter percent in property taxes. That is $250 per $100,000 of property value. The difference is primarily school district taxes. Now that I no longer have kids at home, the school district plays a minor role in my decision of where to live. Is it worth my effort to move to save in annual taxes? In my case, yes. Your mileage will vary.”
Property tax mistakes homeowners make
“One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is not taking advantage of all the exemptions and abatements that are available to them. For instance, many jurisdictions offer a homestead exemption (that is, for people whose home is their primary residence), as well as reductions for specific groups of taxpayers, like seniors, veterans, or those with disabilities. But often the taxpayer has to proactively claim these exemptions; they are not granted automatically. And sometimes you have to re-apply every year.
The other big mistake people make is not considering an appeal on their valuation. People should take the time to look over their assessment and see whether their home is being valued fairly. If not, every jurisdiction offers some process for an appeal. It is much easier to do than people might think. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether you’ve been treated fairly because you need to know the average assessment rate within your jurisdiction, and how other homes are being treated. Do not assume that the assessor knows better about the value of your home than you do.
The property tax is an ancient institution that hasn’t experienced dramatic changes recently. But one of the important changes is that owners are increasingly paying their property taxes as part of escrow included in their mortgage payments. This means that many people do not pay their property taxes directly and may not even look at their tax bill. This is a mistake. Even if you are paying by escrow, stop to look at that tax bill every time. “
“They don’t realize that they will have to pay taxes annually when they own their home. It goes into the mortgage payments and so it is treated as part of the loan. They forget about them. Meanwhile, the big move up in real estate prices means everyone's’ tax bill has gone up. It will give everyone a jolt when their mortgage company raises their monthly payment to cover the new taxes owed.”
Property tax mistakes first-time buyers make
“One of the biggest mistakes that first-time buyers make is not anticipating future property tax increases and making sure their budget can accommodate this growth in their tax bills over time. People think a lot about their mortgages. Those who take out a fixed rate mortgage may expect that their housing bill will not change over time. But in fact, the biggest reason for increases will be property taxes: they usually go up and seldom come down. Over time, property taxes can become a larger part of your monthly bill than the mortgage payment itself.
First-time buyers should start by looking at the valuation of the home. When was the last reassessment and when will the next one happen? Reassessments are the time to expect larger increases. On top of reassessments, expect a regular increase in taxes over time.”
Home value versus property taxes when choosing where to buy
“One is not more important than the other, and buyers should think of these costs together. The total cost of housing is the cost for the mortgage plus the cost of taxes. This total price is what people should be thinking about. And, of course, we should think about taxes as the price we pay for government services. The goal should not be to minimize taxes but to find a fair price for the services being provided. This is why people will pay more taxes for homes in a good school district, for example.”
Expert opinions were provided by:
Bill Dare is an Associate Professor at the Department of Finance at Oklahoma State University, with a main focus on research and teaching finance, primarily analysis of finance theories with sports gambling data and real estate analysis of property taxes and the pricing of real properties.
Christopher R. Berry is the William J. and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the College, as well as the academic director of the Center for Municipal Finance. Berry is the author of Imperfect Union: Representation and Taxation in Multilevel Governments, winner of the Best Book Award in Urban Politics from the American Political Science Association, Theory and Credibility, and is the author of extensive research on property tax fairness. His research has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the Chicago Tribune, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and more.
Data concerning median real estate taxes paid, the state (including D.C. and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) median home value, the median household income was extracted from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates and the Puerto Rico Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
Limited data concerning state income and sales taxes was extracted from the Tax Foundation’s 2020 Facts & Figures report.
The average effective tax rate (also referred to as effective tax rate on this page) was calculated by dividing the median real estate taxes paid by the median home value.
Median home value has been defined as the assessed median home value. However, it’s important to note that the assessment refers not to a tax assessor’s valuation, but to the assessment of American Community Survey respondents of what their property might sell for if it were on the market.
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