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Property Taxes on Median Home by State
September 24, 2010 12:24 PM   Subscribe

Property Value on Median Home by State Nothing but data here, depicted visually: Property Taxes by State, Median Home Value, Taxes as a Percent of Home Value, Median Income for Homeowners, and Taxes as a Percent of Income.
posted by jefficator (41 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
NJ taxes as % of income... 7.02% WTF?
posted by R. Mutt at 12:28 PM on September 24, 2010


Well, that's property taxes as a percentage of income. Texas's property tax rate, for example, is relatively high but there's no state income tax.
posted by seventyfour at 12:35 PM on September 24, 2010


Louisiana, lowest property taxes in the union, and the municipal services to match!
posted by The Giant Squid at 12:42 PM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah, I was wondering why California and Oregon seem so similar, when the case seems to be when talking to friends that they pay WAY more property tax in CA, but as a percentage of income, I could see that being equalized. Strange metric to base it off of though.
posted by mathowie at 12:47 PM on September 24, 2010


I've heard Ann Arbor has ridiculously high property taxes, so I am lost as to where its special brown dot is...
posted by JoeXIII007 at 12:54 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Our property taxes are insane. It's about 3.6% of our house's value. Yay,
posted by Lucinda at 12:54 PM on September 24, 2010


I hate this map. Each pin varies by length equal to its tax. I'm assuming that that is so we can visually compare them and therefore know one that's longer than another means therefore it is because that one has a higher tax. But (a) each pin has a different starting point because (b) the map itself isn't laid out straight, but at an angle therefore one cannot visually make any comparisons. You're just left going to the numbers. But then why even have pins at all, since it's so distracting and clutters? I don't think this one works.
posted by scunning at 1:08 PM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah, I was wondering why California and Oregon seem so similar, when the case seems to be when talking to friends that they pay WAY more property tax in CA, but as a percentage of income, I could see that being equalized. Strange metric to base it off of though.

Also, if your friends bought houses more recently in California, they will be paying way above average property taxes. Thanks to Prop 13, the amount your property taxes can rise is capped at a few percent a year. So if you bought a house for $40k decades ago thats worth $600k now, you're paying property taxes like it was a <100$k house. New buyers pay the full amount (essentially resetting the counter). The house I'm renting is theoretically worth $600k or so, but my landlord pays <1000 a year in property tax since he's owned it for 45 years. Since the average property tax includes both categories, new buyers will be well above many other states while the average is more comparable.
posted by wildcrdj at 1:08 PM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Our property taxes are just under 3% of our home's assessed value which is actually three separate taxes; the city, county and school districts all have separate property taxes. To add to the fun, we also pay a 3% city income tax, filing our PGH-1040 every year.
posted by octothorpe at 1:09 PM on September 24, 2010


I did not realize I'm paying twice the median property tax for my state. (and it's still low compared to a lot of places..I'm not complaining!)
posted by wierdo at 1:11 PM on September 24, 2010


@JoeXIII0007: We pay over $5K/yr on a $220K house (SEV $120K or so), so yeah, a brown dot would be appropriate for the city itself... but I bet there are MUCH higher taxes in isolated pockets.

Not that I'm complaining. We get a fair bit for the money. SINGLE STREAM RECYCLING, FUCK YEAH!
posted by pjaust at 1:19 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I see a chart like this, and I fell glad that I live in a low-tax state like Nevada. But then I remember that we have among the worst education levels in the U.S., high crime, and abysmal public transportation, and I don't feel so good anymore.
posted by coolguymichael at 1:23 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Since the average property tax includes both categories, new buyers will be well above many other states while the average is more comparable.

I want to highlight wildcrdj's important point. The averages in California do not give you the whole picture because the variance is so high due to prop 13. People or companies which bought property many years ago pay miniscule percentages of their incomes while people who bought in the last 10 years pay painfully high percentages of their income.
posted by Justinian at 1:27 PM on September 24, 2010


And some states and cities have sales tax in addition. Not a total tax picture.
posted by Cranberry at 1:42 PM on September 24, 2010


D.C. has the second-highest median property values in the country.

A space at The Trough is gonna cost ya...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:05 PM on September 24, 2010


Interesting data but not a very good piece of info-graphic-pr0n. I had to work harder to internalize the data from the picture than I would have had it just been tabulated.
posted by Babblesort at 2:06 PM on September 24, 2010


NJ always finds a way to be tops in something.
posted by caddis at 2:14 PM on September 24, 2010


if your friends bought houses more recently in California, they will be paying way above average property taxes.

I pay 10x the property tax versus the nice old lady who lives across the street from me in California. Fuckin' Prop 13.
posted by GuyZero at 2:19 PM on September 24, 2010


To illustrate the problems with CA property tax, the sweet couple across the stree from me have lived in their home for 52 years. I've lived in mine for 7 months. My home is worth, I would guess, about 1.2 times theirs, but I pay nearly 9x the property tax they do. It's surreal.

I'm not sure how to imterpret the numbers. The chart says that the median house price in CA is $467,000 and the median property tax is $2829, which is 0.61%. So far, so good, but the property tax rate in CA is 1.1%. Now, Prop 13 messes with that, because you don't pay property tax on the current value of the house (which makes the number nearly meaningless), but not everyone has a Prop 13 situation. The calculated rate in the property tax for most states appears to be less than the real rate in all cases. What up?
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:36 PM on September 24, 2010


I see GuyZero beat me to it.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:39 PM on September 24, 2010


Well you actually explained the situation where I merely complained. I'm paying that current 1.1% but the lady who sold the house to me was effectively paying 0.1%.
posted by GuyZero at 2:46 PM on September 24, 2010


2008 folks... things have continued to go downhill since this data was compiled.. I'm guessing it's pretty useless.
posted by HuronBob at 2:52 PM on September 24, 2010


New York City's property taxes don't fit the state numbers at all, partly because there's a separate municipal tax, and partly because there's such a large commercial tax base. Here's a typical townhouse in my neighborhood, asking price over $2 million, annual tax biil $2322.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 3:02 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


In light of this (and considering GuyZero's and Its Never Lurgi's input), are CA's budget problems really as much the fault of Prop 13 as people say?
posted by klanawa at 7:31 PM on September 24, 2010


It's interesting, but I think more telling when you look at it alongside a total tax burden by state ranking, which adds up property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, etc. for a hypothetical resident.

Some states that rank very high on the property-tax list are, in the net, very low-tax jurisdictions. E.g.: New Hampshire. One of the highest in terms of property taxes (#2?), yet overall it is #49; the only state with lower net taxes is Alaska, where expenses are offset by oil revenue.

Similarly, the lowest property taxes are in Louisiana (by far), but overall it's #16, not really that low.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:25 PM on September 24, 2010


I pay 10x the property tax versus the nice old lady who lives across the street from me in California. Fuckin' Prop 13.

She wouldn't be living there if not for Prop 13. California is officially screwed, because there was never any plan to compensate for the losses that resulted from Prop 13. I still love the place, though. It's more dynamic and diverse than any place on earth. Also, if you're not stuck on the idea of owning a home, one can live in CA quite comfortably and enjoy life.(ha!, clue: the BANK owns the homes, until the mortgage is paid).
posted by Vibrissae at 11:29 PM on September 24, 2010


In light of this (and considering GuyZero's and Its Never Lurgi's input), are CA's budget problems really as much the fault of Prop 13 as people say?

CA's budget problems are myriad and would exist with or without Prop 13. But Prop 13 is bad for a whole lot of reasons regardless of its effects on the budget. It's just terrible policy.
posted by Justinian at 12:56 AM on September 25, 2010


Vibrissae: Also, if you're not stuck on the idea of owning a home, one can live in CA quite comfortably and enjoy life.

I'm a native Californian who didn't own a home and one of the main reasons I left is the cost of housing/living there has become increasingly difficult for anyone who's not making, oh, $75k+/year. I'm not arguing that it's not doable, but I don't know how people who own homes and live anywhere within 50 miles of the coast make it work.

klanawa: In light of this (and considering GuyZero's and Its Never Lurgi's input), are CA's budget problems really as much the fault of Prop 13 as people say?

Prop 13 is not the single worst contributor to California's budget problems. The worst contributor bar none is the requirement by law that there must be a two-thirds legislative majority to pass any budget bill. The government is monumentally dysfunctional, but the government could probably find more ways around the dysfunction with a less draconian budget requirement.

But yeah, Prop 13 doesn't help matters. All of the above comments are one more reason to give the old middle finger salute to Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann.
posted by blucevalo at 9:55 AM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Perhaps 1% wasn't the right number, but I kinda like the idea of a quantifiable upper limit on different taxes during normal (non-emergency) times. I think it entitles some power and protection to those who DON'T spend their waking hours facilitating the expedient transfer of wealth from others.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:54 PM on September 25, 2010


A lot of people felt the same way, ZenMasterThis, which is why Prop 13 passed. But there are things called unintended consequences and secondary effects, and they have been pretty awful. The road to hell, good intentions, etc.
posted by Justinian at 3:34 PM on September 25, 2010


MN has a complicated system in which you are refunded part of your property tax based on your income. Even if you're a renter, you get back some small portion of the landlord's property tax at the end of the year. I wonder if that's taken into account on the data underlying this map...I don't even think the figures make sense for that arrangement.
posted by miyabo at 12:26 AM on September 26, 2010


But there are things called unintended consequences and secondary effects, and they have been pretty awful. The road to hell, good intentions, etc.

Likewise, placing NO upper limit on different taxes comes with its own set of unintended consequences and secondary effects, yes?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:42 AM on September 26, 2010


I'm not sure what you mean by that, exactly. There are no upper limits on virtually any taxes, including property taxes in most places. One example of a tax with an upper limit is the payroll tax. You only pay payroll tax on the first $100k or so of income in the USA. Which makes it one of the most regressive taxes in existence.

What negative unintended consequences of placing no arbitrary upper limit on taxes do you have in mind? About the only negative effect of not capping property taxes in California that I can see is that some people can no longer afford the taxes on very expensive homes and have to move. But that isn't an unintended effect, it is very much necessary and important. Not letting that happen causes huge problems.
posted by Justinian at 11:20 AM on September 26, 2010


As far as I can tell, the only thing that the highest property taxes in the nation get you, as a citizen of NJ, (at least around here) are single stream recycling (good, but at this price, c'mon) and a school bus that stops for 2 minutes at each drive way even if two are right next door and holds traffic until a teenager has walked across their own yard into their house, including holding traffic for as long as they are just standing there chatting or what the fuck ever.

NJ homeowners are being properly fucked, it helps explain (but not excuse) why there are, what, three Tea Party parties in the state.
posted by paisley henosis at 12:29 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Justinian wrote: "But Prop 13 is bad for a whole lot of reasons regardless of its effects on the budget. It's just terrible policy."

I think that's a matter of degree rather than kind. I don't really have a problem limiting property tax assessment increases in a general sense. In Arkansas, for example, your primary residence's assessed value can't rise more than 5% a year. (And other residential property is capped at 10%)

There's something to be said for not throwing poor people out on the street because they can't afford increased property tax.
posted by wierdo at 1:05 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's something to be said for not throwing poor people out on the street because they can't afford increased property tax.

Well, here's the thing. The results of Prop 13 have been, in general, a massive transfer of wealth from the young, poor, single, black, and latino, to old, married, well-off or rich white couples and corporations. I'm not sure how much clearer I can be. Your comment implies you think prop 13 preferentially benefits the poor. But that's counter-factual.

Metafilter folks often wonder why people in so many places seem to vote against their own interests. This is why. They don't actually realize they're voting against their own interests. Prop 13 is first and foremost in the interests of large corporations. It is secondarily in the interests of the wealthy. It is tertiarily in the interests of old married white people. It is not in the interests of younger people, single people, or minorities.
posted by Justinian at 2:37 PM on September 26, 2010


It can work that way, yes. It also can serve as a safety valve to keep poor folks from getting their homes taken away from them. Perhaps I would have a different perspective if I didn't know people to whom this had actually happened. Sure, they might have lived in unsellable hovels, but they had running water, heat, and a roof over their heads. (actually, I've also known middle class people in other states with reasonably nice homes forced to sell because of massive bubble increases in valuation making it impossible to afford their property tax)

Also, I fail to see how a Prop 13-like property tax increase cap that applies only to residential property does jack shit for corporations. Perhaps the wealthy, although even then they don't get more of a benefit than anyone else. Prop 13 is terrible because the increases are capped at ridiculously low levels far below any normal increase in value.

Just because California fucked up the concept in a most awful way possible does not mean the concept itself is not reasonable public policy. Hell, sometimes you've got to give shit to the rich to get the same benefits for yourself. That's OK. What's not OK is voting yourself strict limits on funding that you're unwilling to abide by when it comes time to vote for some new expenditure.
posted by wierdo at 2:52 PM on September 26, 2010


Ok, you're talking about a theoretical policy and I'm talking about prop 13. I agree that we can come up with a theoretical policy that has fewer problems than prop 13. But I don't think that's exactly surprising; I'm sure we could come up with a better health care bill than Congress passed, a better tax code, a better environmental policy, and a better educational policy.

But in the real world of politics you don't end up with an ideal bill, you end up with prop 13.
posted by Justinian at 3:11 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Justinian wrote: "But in the real world of politics you don't end up with an ideal bill, you end up with prop 13."

Yes, real life prop 13 is apparently shit. You might consider expanding your view to what other states have done and find out what has worked and what hasn't.
posted by wierdo at 4:58 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


In Toronto there were no caps on property tax and did it cause old people to leave their homes? You bet. And that was goddamn great. There's no reason for a retired person or couple to occupy a house in highly desirable central Toronto. Retired people move to Peterborough, young people earning money in big downtown office buildings move to central Toronto. As far as I'm concerned, the invisible hand of property tax moves people to exactly where they need to be.
posted by GuyZero at 6:54 PM on September 26, 2010


The Tax Foundation has found that Monroe County [New York] residents pay the highest property taxes across the country when compared to home value, second to none, based on 2009 census data.

This is the county in which I live. It sucks.
posted by Lucinda at 8:20 AM on September 29, 2010


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