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December 2, 2013
Property Taxes in the United States
by Benjamin H. Harris and Brian David Moore

Full Text Published by Tax Analysts®

Tax Facts: From the Tax Policy Center

Over 2007-2011, most counties had property tax bills that were between 0.5 and 1.5 percent of the median home price. Forty-seven percent of counties had property taxes between 0.5 and 1.0 percent of the median home price, while another 26 percent had property taxes between 1.0 and 1.5 percent (see figure). An additional 11 percent of counties had property tax bills below 0.5 percent of the median home value, and 16 percent had property tax bills exceeding 1.5 percent of the median home price. Only a few counties -- just five total -- had property tax bills exceeding 3 percent of the median home price.

Average Property Tax as a Share of Home Price
5-Year Average: 2007-2011

Source: American Community Survey.

Note: Counties in black indicate data are not available.

Average self-reported residential property tax burdens vary by state. As a share of housing prices, residents in all but 14 states paid between 0.5 and 1.5 percent in taxes on average.1 Residents in three states -- Delaware, Hawaii, and Louisiana -- paid an average of 0.5 percent or less, while residents in 11 states -- Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin -- paid more than 1.5 percent.

As a share of housing values, counties in the Northeast, parts of the Midwest, and Texas tend to have higher property taxes relative to other counties. In general, states with high property tax burdens tend to have low sales and income taxes.


1 State averages calculated from county-level data weighted by the number of housing units.


The Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, provides independent, timely, and accessible analysis of current and emerging tax policy issues for the public, journalists, policymakers, and academic researchers.

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