Comparing Europe’s Tax Systems: Property Taxes

October 31, 2019

Today’s map shows how European OECD countries rank on property taxes, continuing our series on the component rankings of the 2019 International Tax Competitiveness Index (ITCI). Although an important element when measuring the neutrality and competitiveness of a country’s tax code, property taxes account on average for less than 5 percent of total tax revenue in European OECD countries.

The ITCI’s property tax component measures and compares the base and amount of real property taxes and whether a country levies further types of property taxes, such as wealth taxes, estate and inheritance taxes, property transfer taxes, corporate asset taxes, capital duties, and financial transaction taxes.

Click the link below to see an interactive version of OECD countries’ property tax rankings, then click on your country for more information about what the strengths and weaknesses of its tax system are and how it compares to the top and bottom five countries in the OECD.

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Estonia has the most efficient property tax system among OECD countries. Estonia’s real property tax only applies to the value of land, making it one of only three OECD countries (along with Australia and New Zealand) that exclude the value of buildings or structures on the land from the tax base. Estonia does not levy any other type of property tax covered in the ITCI.

France, by contrast, ranks lowest in the ITCI’s property tax component. In addition to relatively high real property tax collections, France imposes taxes on net real estate wealth, inheritances, real estate transfers, equity of banks (so-called systemic risk tax), and financial transactions. Capital duties, levied on the issuance of shares, were abolished this year.

To see whether your country’s property tax rank has improved in recent years, check out the table below. To learn more about how we determined these rankings, read our full methodology here.

Property Tax Component of the International Tax Competitiveness Index between 2017 and 2019 (for all OECD countries)

Source: 2019 International Tax Competitiveness Index

OECD Country 2017 Rank 2018 Rank 2019 Rank Change from 2018 to 2019
Australia (AU) 3 3 3 0
Austria (AT) 10 10 10 0
Belgium (BE) 18 28 27 1
Canada (CA) 22 21 20 1
Chile (CL) 17 17 17 0
Czech Republic (CZ) 13 13 13 0
Denmark (DK) 9 9 8 1
Estonia (EE) 1 1 1 0
Finland (FI) 14 14 14 0
France (FR) 36 36 36 0
Germany (DE) 16 16 16 0
Greece (GR) 29 27 28 -1
Hungary (HU) 26 25 25 0
Iceland (IS) 24 23 23 0
Ireland (IE) 12 11 11 0
Israel (IL) 15 15 15 0
Italy (IT) 35 35 35 0
Japan (JP) 28 30 30 0
Korea (KR) 27 26 26 0
Latvia (LV) 6 5 6 -1
Lithuania (LT) 7 6 7 -1
Luxembourg (LU) 20 19 19 0
Mexico (MX) 8 8 9 -1
Netherlands (NL) 11 12 12 0
New Zealand (NZ) 2 2 2 0
Norway (NO) 25 24 24 0
Poland (PL) 32 33 33 0
Portugal (PT) 21 20 21 -1
Slovak Republic (SK) 4 4 4 0
Slovenia (SI) 23 22 22 0
Spain (ES) 33 32 32 0
Sweden (SE) 5 7 5 2
Switzerland (CH) 34 34 34 0
Turkey (TR) 19 18 18 0
United Kingdom (GB) 31 31 31 0
United States (US) 30 29 29 0

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