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Property Taxes By State – Who Pays The Most and Least

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In the United States, every state charges property taxes on real estate. These taxes are used, in most cases, to fund local government budgets, supporting public schools, roads, police and fire support, as well as the local government itself. In some cases, property taxes also support water management systems, hospitals and other state specific requirements.

When you look at property taxes by state, you’ll quickly see that some states charge far more than others. All states use the same basic principles to calculate property taxes. First the county or city tax assessor estimates the property value of all the property in the county. Then, the tax office evaluates the amount of money needed for the year to support the budget, and determines the millage rate. The millage rate is the amount per $1000 of value on the house that will be used to calculate each resident’s final tax bill.

Because each state makes their own determinations about exactly how property taxes will be used, property taxes by state vary widely. First of all, there are a few states, like Texas, who don’t charge state income tax. In these areas, the property taxes by state are much higher, because the state must make up the deficit from the lack of income tax. Other states, however, have higher state income taxes and, perhaps, sales taxes, so their property taxes are lower.

When you look at property taxes by state, the state charging the lowest amount is Louisiana. Residents of Louisiana pay, on average, just $175 in property taxes each year. New Jersey has the highest property taxes by state, with residents paying, on average, more than $5000 each year.

When you look at property taxes by state, you’ll see that, in general, the amount of property taxes correlates to the median homeowner income. New Jersey, for example where property taxes are highest, also has the highest median homeowner income, at over $79,000 per year. Louisiana does not have the lowest median homeowner income, but at just under $47,000, it ranks in the bottom seven. (West Virginia has the lowest median homeowner income at around $40,000.)

In every state, property owners have the ability to contest the assessed value of their homes if they feel that the tax value estimated by the tax assessor is unfairly high. Homeowners can apply for an appeal, where they will have the opportunity to explain why they believe their property is valued too high. In some cases, the taxpayer may get their property value lowered, thereby lowering their property taxes.





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