How Do Property Taxes Vary Across The Country?

October 16, 2015

Property taxes vary substantially around the United States, both among states and even within states. Property taxes are levied at the state and local level, but they are also typically deductible on federal returns as an itemized deduction on Schedule A for taxpayers who elect to itemize their deductions.

As a result, the IRS has substantial data on property taxes around the country. The map below shows the average property tax deduction taken on the Schedule A, per tax return, for each county in the United States.

While this is not exactly equivalent to the average property tax collections at the state level (which are higher because some taxpayers don’t itemize) the map shows a pretty good, broad, apples-to-apples comparison of property taxes across the country.

Looking at the map, some obvious things stand out. For example, the border between Pennsylvania and New York stands out; this should come as no surprise to readers of our State Business Tax Climate Index, which puts New York fourth overall in property tax collections per capita. The most heavily-shaded state is New Jersey, which has the highest property tax collections per capita. And lastly, even within states, property taxes can vary a great deal from county to county. For example, they vary a great deal within Illinois, as we pointed out in our latest study of taxes in the state.

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See all of our maps here.

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