The 10 Worst States For Property Taxes


When you’re deciding on a place to put down roots and maybe buy a home, property taxes are probably the last thing on your mind.  What’s the area like?  Is there a fun downtown district?  Are the schools any good?  What about the weather?  There are an awful lot of things to think about, but you shouldn’t completely forget to consider the property taxes.  You’d be surprised how much they vary from state to state, and if you’re not prepared for there, they can easily make your reasonable mortgage a lot harder to swing.

These are currently the worst states when it comes to property taxes.  Does that mean you shouldn’t live in them if you want to?  Of course not.  Just be prepared to pay.

10. New Jersey

With a property tax rate of 2.38%, and an average home price right around $300,000 the median property tax payment for a homeowner in New Jersey is more than $7,000 every year.  Yikes!  These high prices have more than 50% of current New Jersey residents saying they wish they could leave the state at some point.

9. Illinois

The state of Illinois is just behind New Jersey’s property taxes, checking in at 2.32%.  However, residents may not have as much right to complain as New Jersey homeowners because the average price of a home in Illinois is much lower.

8. New Hampshire

The highest of several New England states on this list, New Hampshire homeowners pay about 2.15% in property taxes every year.  Since New Hampshire doesn’t tax earned income, the state must rely on other taxes levied, like the ones on real estate.

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7. Connecticut

The next New England state on the list is Connecticut, where property taxes hit homeowners to the tune of %1.98.  Compared to some of the other states, under 2% doesn’t sound terrible, but the average home price in Connecticut is more than $250,000 which means that property tax payment is going to be at least $5,000 a year.

6. Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s property taxes check in right at 1.96%, just a little bit underneath Connecticut.  A new state budget is expected to lower median property tax payments this year, but only by $1.  Oh well.  Progress is progress.

5. Texas

A state as big as Texas has to rely on its 1.9% property taxes because it doesn’t currently have any state income taxes.  They have to make up for that money somewhere.

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4. Nebraska

At 1.84% lawmakers in Nebraska are looking for ways to lower property taxes, but since quite a lot of the state’s funding for K-12 schools comes directly from those property taxes, it might be easier said than done.

3. Michigan

Property taxes in the state of Michigan are right around 1.78%.  With attempts to rescue the desperate financial situation in urban Michigan, the mayor of Detroit said city residents should hope to see their property tax assessments fall by as much as 20% this year.

2. Vermont

Not only do residents have to pay 1.71% in property taxes, they also get hit with a relatively high income tax which makes the situation seem even worse.  The state is taking steps to stop the rise of property taxes by changing the way money is budgeted for education.

1. Rhode Isand

To put the property tax of 1.67% in perspective, think of it this way.  For every $1,000, residents of Rhode Island will spend about $49 on their property taxes.  That’s quite a big chunk.

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Photo Credit: New York Times

SOURCES: The Fiscal Times

IMAGES: Flickr | Reliable Index | New York Times | Jeffrey Hogue Realtor