New York, New Jersey Lead Nation in Property Tax Burden

 
 
May 17, 2011

Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 269

New Five-Year American Community Survey Data Includes All Counties in U.S.

Introduction

For some time now, the Tax Foundation has published median property tax statistics for counties in the United States.  These statistics are based on data from the American Community Survey.  Previously, data limitations meant that only mid- to high-population counties could be included in the rankings.  Now, for the first time, we are pleased to present data that includes nearly all counties in the United States. We rank counties three different ways: by median property taxes paid on homes, by median property taxes as a percentage of median home values, and by median property taxes as a percentage of median household income.

The Census Bureau recently released American Community Survey data as a five-year average, from 2005 to 2009. The larger number of survey responses and correspondingly larger sample sizes included in this five-year period allows estimates to be calculated for every county (or county-level entity) in the United States.  Previously, these data releases were limited to one-year or three-year averages, and the lower sample sizes for these releases meant that only mid- to high-population counties were included.

Our data release includes nearly all 3,139 counties in the United States. We excluded 217 counties from our rankings because of their unreliably small sample size, for a final universe of 2,922 counties.

Hunterdon County, New Jersey ranks first for median property taxes.  For median property taxes as a percentage of median home value, Orleans County, New York takes the top spot, and all of the top ten counties for this statistic are in upstate New York. Finally, the No. 1 county for median property taxes as a percentage of median household income is Passaic County, New Jersey.

The full data is available here:

Property Taxes on Owner-Occupied Housing, by County, Ranked by Taxes Paid: http://www.taxfoundation.org/legacy/show/27281.html

Property Taxes on Owner-Occupied Housing, by County, Ranked by Taxes As a Percentage of Income: http://www.taxfoundation.org/legacy/show/27277.html

Property Taxes on Owner-Occupied Housing, by County, Ranked by Taxes As a Percentage of Home Value: http://www.taxfoundation.org/legacy/show/27276.html

We have also made it available for some time on our interactive property tax database at www.TaxFoundation.org/interactive/propertytax.

We summarize the top and bottom 10 counties for each ranking below.

Table 1: Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes, 2005-2009 - Top Counties

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

State

County

Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes

Rank (out of 2922)

New Jersey

Hunterdon County

$8,216 +/- 114

1

New York

Nassau County

$8,206 +/- 34

2

New York

Westchester County

$8,160 +/- 86

3

New Jersey

Bergen County

$7,925 +/- 45

4

New York

Rockland County

$7,676 +/- 85

5

New Jersey

Essex County

$7,489 +/- 79

6

New Jersey

Somerset County

$7,421 +/- 58

7

New Jersey

Morris County

$7,298 +/- 39

8

New Jersey

Union County

$7,075 +/- 52

9

New Jersey

Passaic County

$7,055 +/- 54

10

Table 2: Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes, 2005-2009 - Bottom Counties

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

State

County

Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes

Rank (out of 2922)

Louisiana

Caldwell Parish

$115 +/- 4

2913

Louisiana

Red River Parish

$115 +/- 4

2913

Louisiana

Winn Parish

$114 +/- 4

2915

Louisiana

Bienville Parish

$112 +/- 3

2916

Alaska

Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

$111 +/- 3

2917

Alaska

Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

$109 +/- 5

2918

Louisiana

Tensas Parish

$109 +/- 4

2918

Alaska

Aleutians East Borough

$108 +/- 8

2920

Alaska

Northwest Arctic Borough

$108 +/- 4

2920

Alaska

Bethel Census Area

$105 +/- 3

2922

  

 Table 3: Property Taxes as a Percentage of Home Value, 2005-2009 - Top Counties

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

State

County

Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes

Median Home Value

Taxes as a Percentage of Home Value

Rank (out of 2922)

New York

Orleans County

$2,578 +/- 82

$84,600 +/- 1,744

3.05 +/- 0.12%

1

New York

Niagara County

$2,722 +/- 39

$94,900 +/- 1,482

2.87 +/- 0.06%

2

New York

Monroe County

$3,565 +/- 27

$126,700 +/- 1,064

2.81 +/- 0.03%

3

New York

Allegany County

$1,804 +/- 50

$65,100 +/- 1,552

2.77 +/- 0.10%

4

New York

Montgomery County

$2,502 +/- 86

$91,900 +/- 2,480

2.72 +/- 0.12%

5

New York

Wayne County

$2,864 +/- 68

$105,400 +/- 2,245

2.72 +/- 0.09%

6

New York

Cortland County

$2,450 +/- 64

$91,200 +/- 2,192

2.69 +/- 0.10%

7

New York

Genesee County

$2,626 +/- 65

$98,200 +/- 1,616

2.67 +/- 0.08%

8

New York

Chautauqua County

$2,019 +/- 56

$77,800 +/- 1,527

2.60 +/- 0.09%

9

New York

Livingston County

$2,810 +/- 90

$110,400 +/- 2,385

2.55 +/- 0.10%

10

Table 4: Property Taxes as a Percentage of Home Value, 2005-2009 - Bottom Counties

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

State

County

Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes

Median Home Value

Taxes as a Percentage of Home Value

Rank (out of 2922)

Alaska

Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

$111 +/- 3

$89,900 +/- 8,479

0.12 +/- 0.01%

2913

Louisiana

St. John the Baptist Parish

$171 +/- 8

$139,000 +/- 4,296

0.12 +/- 0.01%

2914

Alaska

North Slope Borough

$159 +/- 21

$143,400 +/- 16,960

0.11 +/- 0.02%

2915

Alaska

Dillingham Census Area

$170 +/- 15

$171,900 +/- 13,390

0.10 +/- 0.01%

2916

Alaska

Aleutians East Borough

$108 +/- 8

$122,100 +/- 17,484

0.09 +/- 0.01%

2917

Alaska

Bethel Census Area

$105 +/- 3

$119,200 +/- 8,444

0.09 +/- 0.01%

2918

Alaska

Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area

$119 +/- 7

$144,000 +/- 24,960

0.08 +/- 0.02%

2919

Alaska

Northwest Arctic Borough

$108 +/- 4

$132,100 +/- 7,813

0.08 +/- 0.01%

2920

Alaska

Hoonah-Angoon Census Area

$116 +/- 7

$169,000 +/- 22,840

0.07 +/- 0.01%

2921

Alaska

Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

$109 +/- 5

$159,300 +/- 10,901

0.07 +/- 0.01%

2922

  

Table 5: Property Taxes as a Percentage of Household Income, 2005-2009 - Top Counties

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

State

County

Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes

Median Household Income

Taxes as a Percentage of Household Income

Rank (out of 2922)

New Jersey

Passaic County

$7,055 +/- 54

$83,591 +/- 1,614

8.44 +/- 0.18%

1

New Jersey

Essex County

$7,489 +/- 79

$93,107 +/- 1,428

8.04 +/- 0.15%

2

New York

Nassau County

$8,206 +/- 34

$102,920 +/- 763

7.97 +/- 0.07%

3

New Jersey

Bergen County

$7,925 +/- 45

$101,388 +/- 917

7.82 +/- 0.08%

4

New Jersey

Union County

$7,075 +/- 52

$90,538 +/- 1,497

7.81 +/- 0.14%

5

New York

Rockland County

$7,676 +/- 85

$101,833 +/- 1,901

7.54 +/- 0.16%

6

New York

Westchester County

$8,160 +/- 86

$111,129 +/- 1,293

7.34 +/- 0.12%

7

New Jersey

Hunterdon County

$8,216 +/- 114

$112,474 +/- 2,133

7.30 +/- 0.17%

8

New Jersey

Hudson County

$6,085 +/- 68

$83,561 +/- 1,793

7.28 +/- 0.18%

9

New York

Suffolk County

$6,779 +/- 28

$93,629 +/- 812

7.24 +/- 0.07%

10

  

 Table 6: Property Taxes as a Percentage of Household Income, 2005-2009 - Bottom Counties

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

State

County

Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes

Median Household Income

Taxes as a Percentage of Household Income

Rank (out of 2922)

Louisiana

Assumption Parish

$123 +/- 5

$47,598 +/- 4,337

0.26 +/- 0.03%

2913

Louisiana

Vernon Parish

$119 +/- 2

$46,967 +/- 1,623

0.25 +/- 0.01%

2914

Alaska

Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area

$119 +/- 7

$47,238 +/- 3,772

0.25 +/- 0.02%

2915

Louisiana

Cameron Parish

$147 +/- 20

$59,720 +/- 7,414

0.25 +/- 0.05%

2916

Alaska

Dillingham Census Area

$170 +/- 15

$71,500 +/- 14,105

0.24 +/- 0.05%

2917

Alaska

North Slope Borough

$159 +/- 21

$80,906 +/- 12,385

0.20 +/- 0.04%

2918

Alaska

Northwest Arctic Borough

$108 +/- 4

$56,328 +/- 4,947

0.19 +/- 0.02%

2919

Alaska

Bethel Census Area

$105 +/- 3

$54,875 +/- 4,614

0.19 +/- 0.02%

2920

Alaska

Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

$109 +/- 5

$58,464 +/- 4,005

0.19 +/- 0.02%

2921

Alaska

Aleutians East Borough

$108 +/- 8

$61,607 +/- 10,840

0.18 +/- 0.03%

2922

   

Methodology

The figures in these tables are for property taxes paid by households on owner-occupied housing. As a result, they exclude property taxes paid by businesses, renters, and others.

We use three specific tables from the 2005-2009 ACS release. These are:

B25103

Mortgage Status by Median Real Estate Taxes Paid

Cell 1 (Total)

B25099

Mortgage Status by Median Household Income in the Past 12 Months

Cell 1 (Total)

B25107

Median Value by Year Structure Built

Cell 1 (Total)

In each table, the ACS data release includes an estimate and a margin of error for each county, which we include here[i].

We excluded any county in which the margin of error for any table entry was more than 20% of the estimate value. An additional four counties were excluded for other reasons[ii]


[i] The uncertainty for derived columns (taxes as percentages of home value and household income) is calculated according to the formula 

[ii] Denali Borough and Wade Hampton Census Area in Alaska, as well as Kalawao County in Hawaii, lacked even an estimate for property taxes paid. Nantucket County in Massachusetts was excluded because its estimate for median home value exceeded $1 million and was replaced with a jam value for privacy reasons.

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