Property Taxes: If You Calculate It, They Will Come … and the Best of the Blogosphere

December 16, 2008

The Tax Foundation takes on a lot of complicated issues: from the SILO deals that have many city transit agencies near default to calculating how the Presidential candidates’ tax proposals would affect different definitions of “small business.” But sometimes it’s the simplest things that get us the most attention.

A couple months ago, Senior Economist Gerald Prante used the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 American Community Survey to calculate median owner-occupied property taxes paid in different counties across the country, as well as those same taxes as a percentage of median home value and median household income. Although it received a lot of attention, one of the limitations of the report was that it only gave numbers for counties with populations above 65,000.

Last week, an updated American Community Survey was released that includes the three-year averages (2005, 2006 and 2007) of counties with populatiions above 20,000. Yesterday, Gerald and Analyst Mark Robyn released their calculations based on the new survey numbers, and the press started calling in droves. Today, there are a bevy of stories based on Gerald and Mark’s report, including the South Town Star in Will County (IL), Santa Cruz Sentinel, New Hampshire Business Review, Phoenix Business Journal, Bellville News-Democrat (Southwestern IL and St. Louis) and Denver Business Journal. Surely, there will be more to come.

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