Here’s how much Americans pay in property taxes in each US state

Housing costs across the United Statesscrambling the plans of many buyers and destroying those of others hope of owning a house. Another rising cost owners are grappling with? Property taxes.

In some counties across the country, average property tax payments hit record highs last year, according to a report released Thursday by Attom Data Solutions, a real estate data company. Property taxes are a major source of revenue for local governments as well as a significant cost to property owners.

These taxes are also often opaque, making it harder for home hunters to calculate the impact on their budget, said Rich Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at Attom.

“A lot of people overlook those property taxes when they think about whether or not they can afford a house. They think of mortgage payments and interest, but they overlook things like taxes, insurance and maintenance,” did he declare.

“In some of these markets, you’re looking at an average of $1,000 per month in property tax payments,” Sharga added.

Admittedly, these high numbers apply to wealthier counties, such as New York and tonier counties across the state; Fairfield County, Connecticut; or Bergen and Essex counties in New Jersey. On the West Coast, Marin County in California has the highest property taxes, with an average annual bill of $13,700. Homes in San Mateo County, where San Francisco is located, have an average annual tax bill of $11,500, according to Attom.

“These Things Add Up”

Sharga’s advice to first-time home buyers, especially those stretching their budget to buy property, to consider taxes early in the buying process.

A more typical property tax payment of $4,000 or $5,000 a year is easy to overlook when potential buyers are considering hundreds of thousands of home loans, he said. But it could be the difference between comfortably paying living expenses over a year — or not.

“It’s a fraction of what you’re paying for your mortgage, so it’s assumed you can afford it. But those things add up,” Sharga noted.

Typically, property tax payments are higher in affluent states in the Northeast and lower in the Southeast or Midwest. But taxes also vary a lot within states. In Georgia, for example, the average statewide property tax payment is $2,400 – in the bottom quarter of US states. But that ranges from a high of $5,500 in Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, to a low of $760 in Laurens County, downstate.

Tax increases slow

There’s a silver lining, according to Attom: Property taxes have risen much more slowly than house prices. In 2021, while the value of single-family homes jumped 16% from the previous year, property taxes only increased by an average of 1.8%.

In fact, in 2021, property taxes grew at the slowest rate in five years, Sharga said. The effective tax rate that year was less than 1% of the value of a home. The wrong side? He expects that to change next year as record house prices trickle down to tax assessments.

“Homeowners should probably expect to continue to see their property taxes go up over the next year,” he said. “I guess the tax assessors will catch up.”

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