Best and Worst States in Property Tax Administration

June 02, 2011

People feel property taxes more directly than other taxes, helping make it one of the more reviled taxes in America. Because so many individuals and businesses are affected by property taxes, it makes it all the more surprising that there are jurisdictions in the country that do not have standardized procedures for filing and paying, do not permit appeals of assessments to a neutral independent entity, or uniform tax bases and rates on different types of property.

Focusing on these areas, the Council on State Taxation last week released their annual scorecard (PDF) comparing how the states perform on property tax administration.

The top-ranked states overall:

  • Maryland (A-)
  • Florida (B+)
  • Georgia (B+)
  • Kentucky (B+)
  • Oregon (B+)

The bottom-ranked states overall:

  • New York (F)
  • Delaware (D-)
  • Illinois (D-)
  • Pennsylvania (D-)
  • Hawaii (D)

The full table of results (the more points, the worse the score):

State Standardized Procedures (Points out of 20) Fair Tax Appeal Procedures (Points out of 16) Residential vs. Business Property (Points out of 12) Other Issues (Points) Total Score (Points) Total Score (Grade)
Alabama 8 6 10 1 25 C-
Alaska 15 11 3 1 30 C-
Arizona 9 8 9 0 26 C-
Arkansas 7 8 3 1 19 B-
California 8 11 4 2 25 C-
Colorado 0 9 9 2 20 B-
Connecticut 15 6 4 1 26 C-
Delaware 20 10 4 1 35 D-
Florida 6 3 5 0 14 B+
Georgia 3 3 5 2 13 B+
Hawaii 17 8 9 0 34 D-
Idaho 12 7 3 0 22 C+
Illinois 17 9 8 1 35 D-
Indiana 12 5 7 1 25 C-
Iowa 10 9 10 2 31 C-
Kansas 7 8 7 1 23 C
Kentucky 7 6 1 1 15 B+
Louisiana 13 9 8 2 32 D-
Maine 15 5 4 1 25 C-
Maryland 1 6 3 1 11 A-
Massachusetts 11 5 8 1 25 C-
Michigan 6 8 6 0 20 B-
Minnesota 11 5 7 0 23 C
Mississippi 6 12 6 2 26 C-
Missouri 11 5 7 2 25 C-
Montana 10 11 8 2 31 C-
Nebraska 9 9 1 1 20 B-
Nevada 8 13 4 1 26 C-
New Hampshire 14 4 0 1 19 B-
New Jersey 16 8 4 3 31 C-
New Mexico 11 8 6 0 25 C-
New York 20 10 10 3 43 F
North Carolina 10 6 0 3 19 B-
North Dakota 9 12 3 0 24 C
Ohio 7 6 6 1 20 B-
Oklahoma 5 4 7 2 18 B
Oregon 6 4 2 1 13 B+
Pennsylvania 19 8 6 3 36 D-
Rhode Island 15 10 7 0 32 D-
South Carolina 12 3 11 1 27 C-
South Dakota 9 8 4 1 22 C+
Tennessee 11 9 6 1 27 C-
Texas 7 3 6 3 19 B-
Utah 3 7 5 2 17 B
Vermont 9 10 2 1 22 C+
Virginia 18 8 2 0 28 C-
Washington 10 9 1 1 21 C+
West Virginia 9 12 6 1 28 C-
Wisconsin 11 12 3 0 26 C-
Wyoming 11 4 3 1 19 B-
District of Columbia 6 9 11 1 27 C-

Be sure also to check out the property tax section of our annual State Business Tax Climate Index (PDF).

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