New Census Data: From 2006 to 2008, NY, NJ Counties Rank Highest in Property Taxes on Homeowners

October 28, 2009

American Community Survey Data Now Includes Three-Year Averages for Counties with Populations over 20,000

Washington, DC, October 28, 2009 -- Census Bureau data released yesterday show that over a three-year period (2006, 2007 and 2008), homeowners in New York and New Jersey counties paid the most in property taxes, while those in Louisiana parishes paid the least. In seven New Jersey counties and three New York counties, the median property tax over 2006-2008 is more than 7 percent of median household income, compared to the national median of 2.85%.

In Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 198, "New Jersey and New York Counties Rank Highest in Property Tax, Louisiana Parishes Lowest," Tax Foundation Senior Economist Gerald Prante uses newly updated data from the 2008 American Community Survey to rank counties with populations greater than 20,000 according to various property tax measures. "The data released today includes property tax estimates on a three-year average for places with populations that exceed 20,000," Prante said. "This differs from what Census released late last month, which includes single-year figures for counties with populations over 65,000."

The Fiscal Fact is available online at http://www.taxfoundation.org/legacy/show/25434.html.

The top 10 counties in median real estate taxes paid over 2006-2008 are, from 1 to 10, Westchester County, NY ($8,404); Hunterdon County, NJ ($8,347); Nassau County, NY ($8,306); Bergen County, NJ ($7,997); Rockland County, NY ($7,798); Essex County, NJ ($7,676); Somerset County, NJ ($7,676); Morris County, NY ($7,310); Passaic County, NJ ($7,095); and Union County, NJ ($7,058). The national median is $1,854.

The top 10 counties in median real estate taxes as a percentage of home value over 2006-2008 are (all from the state of New York), from 1 to 10, Orleans County (3.04%), Niagara County (2.95%); Allegany County (2.92%); Monroe County 2.89%); Wayne County (2.85%); Montgomery County (2.75%); Genesee County (2.73%); Cortland County (2.71%); Chautauqua County (2.66%); and Seneca County (2.65%). The national median is nearly 1% (0.96%).

The top 10 counties in median real estate taxes as a percentage of homeowner income over 2006-2008 are, from 1 to 10, Passaic County, NJ (8.34%); Essex County, NJ (8.12%); Nassau County, NY (8.00%); Bergen County, NJ (7.89%); Union County, NJ (7.80%); Rockland County, NY (7.61%); Westchester County, NY (7.55%); Hunterdon County, NJ (7.50%); Suffolk County, NY (7.24%); and Hudson County, NJ (7.20%). The national median is 2.85%.

The bottom 10 counties in median real estate taxes paid over 2006-2008 are (all from Louisiana), from highest to lowest amount, De Soto Parish ($129); Evangeline Parish ($127); Jefferson Davis Parish ($127); Webster Parish ($125); Sabine Parish ($124); Richland Parish ($122); Avoyelles Parish ($120); Vernon Parish ($120); Allen Parish ($119); and Franklin Parish ($117).

The bottom 10 counties in median real estate taxes as a percentage of home value over 2006-2008 are (also all from Louisiana), from highest to lowest percentage, Livingston Parish (0.15%); Terrebonne Parish (0.14%); Avoyelles Parish (0.14%); West Baton Rouge Parish (0.14%); Assumption Parish (0.14%); St. James Parish (0.14%); Lafourche Parish (0.14%); Tangipahoa Parish (0.12%); St. John the Baptist Parish (0.11%); and St. Bernard Parish (0.11%).

The bottom 10 counties in median real estate taxes as a percentage of homeowner income over 2006-2008 are (also all from Louisiana), from highest to lowest percentage, Lafourche Parish (0.28%); St. John the Baptist Parish (0.28%); De Soto Parish (0.28%); Jefferson Davis Parish (0.28%); Webster Parish (0.27%); Beauregard Parish (0.27%); Evangeline Parish (0.26%); Allen Parish (0.26%); Vermilion Parish (0.26%); and Vernon Parish (0.25%).

For a chart of real restate taxes paid on owner-occupied housing for each of the more than 1,800 countries with populations greater than 20,000 for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008, ranked by median real estate taxes paid, see http://www.taxfoundation.org/legacy/show/25429.html. For the same information ranked by median real estate taxes as a percentage of home value, see http://www.taxfoundation.org/legacy/show/25428.html.

The Tax Foundation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that has monitored fiscal policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937.

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Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No.198, "New Jersey and New York Counties Rank Highest in Property Tax, Louisiana Parishes Lowest," is available online at http://www.taxfoundation.org/legacy/show/25434.html. To schedule an interview, please contact Natasha Altamirano, the Tax Foundation's Manager of Media Relations, at (202) 464-5102 or naltamirano@taxfoundation.org.

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