Property taxes levied on homeowners rose slightly in 2019 across most of the country.
If your property taxes for 2019 were not as high as you anticipated, you were not alone. The average property tax bill of $3,561 for a single-family home in 2019 was up only 2% from the average property tax of $3,498 in 2018, based on data from ATTOM Data Solutions.
The property tax analysis for more than 86 million single-family homes in the United States shows that property taxes levied on single family homes in 2019 totaled $306.4 billion, up 1% from $304.6 billion in 2018 and an average tax amount of $3,561 per home, an effective tax rate of 1.14%.
The effective property tax rate is the percentage of a property’s value – either its assessed value or in some cases its estimated market value – paid in property taxes during a given year.
The report analyzed property tax data collected from county tax assessor offices nationwide at the state, metro and county levels along with estimated market values of single-family homes calculated using an automated valuation model.
Todd Teta, chief product officer for ATTOM Data Solutions, said that although property taxes levied on homeowners rose again in 2019 across most of the country, the nationwide increase was the smallest in the last three years. He called it “a sign that cities, towns and counties are taking stronger steps to clamp down on how much they hit up property owners to support schools and local government services.”
Teta said, “Without major changes in the way local government and educational systems are funded, demands for good schools and other services will continue to put upward pressure on property taxes. But on balance, 2019 was a relatively mild year for taxpayers around the nation.”
Illinois has the highest property tax rate in the nation, according to a new study.
Lowest property tax rates
States with the lowest effective property tax rates were Hawaii (0.36%), Alabama (0.48%), Colorado (0.52%), Utah (0.56%) and Nevada (0.58%).
Other states in the top 10 for lowest effective property tax rates were Tennessee (0.61%); West Virginia (0.61%), Delaware (0.62%), Arizona (0.63%) and Wyoming (0.65%).
Among the 220 metro areas analyzed for the report, those with the lowest effective property tax rates were Daphne, Alabama (0.33%); Honolulu (0.35%); Montgomery, Alabama (0.38%); Tuscaloosa, Alabama (0.39%); and Colorado Springs (0.41%).
Highest property tax rates
States with the highest effective property tax rates were Illinois (2.22%), New Jersey (2.19%), Texas (2.11%), Vermont (2.11%), and Connecticut (2.04%). Rounding out the top 10 were New Hampshire (1.93%), New York (1.87%), Pennsylvania (1.75%), Ohio (1.68%) and Nebraska (1.57%).
Among 220 metropolitan areas analyzed in the report with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest effective property tax rates were Binghamton, New York (3.11%); Syracuse, New York (3%); Rockford, Illinois (2.84%); Rochester, New York (2.80%); and Atlantic City, New Jersey (2.60%).
Out of the 220 metro areas analyzed in the report, 123 (56%) posted an increase in average property taxes above the national average of 2%, including Atlanta (9% increase); Phoenix (9%); Miami (5%); Washington, D.C. (4%); and Boston (4%).
Other major markets posting an increase in average property taxes that was above the national average were Detroit (up 9%); Austin, Texas (up 9%); Denver (up 8%); Las Vegas (up 7%); and Charlotte, North Carolina (up 5%).
Counties with property taxes over $10,000
Among 1,448 U.S. counties with at least 10,000 single family homes, those with the highest average property taxes on single-family homes were mostly in the greater New York metro area, led by Westchester County, New York ($18,103); Rockland County, New York ($13,048); Marin County, California ($12,250); Essex County, New Jersey ($12,206); and Nassau County, New Jersey ($11,952).
Don’t assume your property tax bill is set in stone. A little homework and due diligence can help reduce the burden, according to financial content website Investopedia, which offers these tips and tricks for lowering your bill.