New data shows where homeowners are being hit hardest by high property tax rates. According to the National Association of Realtors the average tax rate across the US is just 1.15%. That’s an average annual property tax bill of $3,296. These 10 US states currently have the highest property tax rates:
New Jersey has the highest tax rates at more than double the national average. However, 3 New York metro areas top the list of most expensive cities. The 5 most expensive areas are Binghampton, Rochester, and Syracuse, NY, and Atlantic City, NJ and Rockford, IL. Rising home prices and new budgets are pushing up tax bills around the nation too. In 2016 that put Nassau County, NY among the most expensive places to buy a home in the nation, with an average annual tax bill of $11,232. That’s more than 3x the national average. Gross property tax receipts on single family homes nationwide brought in an estimated $277.7B last year according to Housing Wire.
While property tax revenue can help fund important services such as schools, law enforcement, and homeless programs, they can also cause major problems. High tax rates can limit appreciation potential, can turn off would be buyers, and contribute to a lack of affordability which can cause some of the main issues tax money is said to be used to treat. Various destinations around the US and the world continue to diverge in their philosophies on property taxes. Some are increasing their grip and reliance on property taxes, like Chicago. Others are seeing the sense in reducing their reliance on them, like Seattle.
For now, those who live in these highly-taxed cities, counties, and states really have 3 options:
- Get involved in the political decision-making process
- Move to cheaper destinations
- Appeal high property tax bills