The 15 States With the Highest Property Tax Rates in the U.S.A.
The average American homeowner spends $2,690 on property taxes every year, but some states' residents have much higher tax bills than others. How does your state measure up?
As of 2023, almost two-thirds of Americans are homeowners, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The median home value in the U.S. is $244,900 as of 2021, the most recent year for which figures were available. This figure is substantially higher than they were in 2020, when the median American home value was $217,500.
According to WalletHub.com, the average American homeowner pays $2,690 in property taxes each year, up $2,471 from last year. The best way to compare property tax rates in different locations is to determine the effective tax rate, which is calculated by dividing the average real estate tax payment by the average home price in the state. Read on as we count down the 15 states with the highest effective property tax rates. Since there are a few ties among the states with highest property taxes, we’re starting our list with the 12th-highest rate in the country.
The Midwest may not generally be associated with high taxes, but that doesn’t stop Kansas from taking the first spot on the list. The state has an effective tax rate of 1.43 percent based on an average home value of $164,800, which is substantially lower than the national average. Property taxes have been on the rise in Kansas for decades, and there’s no sign that they’re slowing down anytime soon.
RELATED: 14 Places in America Where the Usual Laws Don’t Apply
Compared to other states, Michigan has pretty low income tax rates, with a flat rate of 4.25 percent for all earners. When it comes to property tax, on the other hand, the state falls at the high end. With an average annual property tax of $2,551 and an average home price of $172,100, Michigan has an effective tax rate of 1.48 percent.
We’ve got a three-way tie for 10th place this year: Ohio may have inexpensive housing, with an average home price of just $159,900, but the state’s property taxes are some of the highest in the country. Although the state’s effective property tax rate is 1.53 percent, rates within the state vary widely. Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is the county seat, has a rate of 2.51 percent, but Lawrence County (located in Appalachian Ohio) comes in at an incredibly low 0.86 percent.
One of Ohio’s neighbors, Pennsylvania, is tied for the 10th highest effective tax rate in the country. This state may be for lovers, but it’s not for those who don’t love paying high property taxes! With a median value of $197,300, houses in the state may be affordable, but the effective tax rate is 1.53 percent. It’s not altogether surprising, given that Pennsylvania is bordered by other states with high property taxes. In fact, both New Jersey and New York rank even higher on our list.
RELATED: 10 of the Cheapest Places to Buy Land in the U.S.
The nation’s smallest state still manages to make it into the top 10 for the highest property taxes. Little Rhody has a high sales tax rate, too, making this tiny state an expensive place to live. Home prices are above average as well, with a median cost of $292,600, up from $261,900 last year. Given that Rhode Islanders pay an average of $4,483 in property taxes each year, the effective property tax rate is 1.53 percent, the same as in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The Hawkeye State is known for high taxes on both income and property. In fact, Iowa jumped from number 12 to number 9 on the list this year, even though the effective tax rate remained unchanged at 1.57 percent. While the cost of a home in Iowa is extremely affordable compared to most other states, coming in at an average of just $160,700, the state’s effective tax rate is still among the highest.
In Nebraska, it’s easy to find affordable homes to buy—the median home price is just $174,100. Property taxes are comparatively high, however, at 1.67 percent. Some speculate that property taxes are high in Plains states like Nebraska because they have large areas with low populations, which means they need higher rates to fund local governments.
We’ve got a tie for 7th place, with two very different states holding effective tax rates of 1.73 percent: The first is New York. While you might expect the Empire State to rank even higher on this list because of New York City’s sky-high real estate prices, it doesn’t rank at the very top. Still, home prices and taxes statewide are still pretty staggering: The average price of a home is $340,600. New Yorkers pay an average property tax bill of $5,884, putting them in fourth place for total property taxes paid.
America’s Dairyland is one of the coldest states, and homeowners pay a pretty penny in property taxes for the privilege of weathering frigid winters. Despite the fact that the median home cost is substantially lower than the national average at $200,400, Wisconsin residents still end up paying an average of $3,472 in property taxes each year, thanks in part to high government spending.
RELATED: 15 of the Cheapest Places to Buy a House in the U.S.
By both area and population, Texas is the second-largest state in the country, but it comes in sixth in the rankings of effective property tax rates. The Lone Star State has a relatively low cost of living, and the average home is just $202,600—a major jump from last year when it was $172,500. But with an average annual property tax payment of $3,520, homeowners have to deal with an effective property tax rate of 1.74 percent. The high figure could be the result of low sales taxes and the fact that the state doesn’t levy its own income tax, so local governments rely disproportionately on property tax.
Foodies love Vermont for its maple syrup, delicious cheeses, and, of course, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. But even the most enthusiastic epicures have to think twice before moving to a state with such high property taxes. The effective tax rate is 1.9 percent, based on a median home value of $240,600, which is just under the national average.
New Hampshire, which has the honor of holding the first presidential primary in each election cycle, has the third-highest property tax rate in the country, with an effective tax rate of 2.09 percent. (This is actually not quite as high as it was last year, when the tax rate was 2.18 percent.) The slight dip is likely due to the fact that the average price of a home has jumped from $261,700 to $288,700, making the average property tax $6,036.
RELATED: 7 Home Renos That Will Increase Your Property Taxes
Small but pricey, Connecticut is the fourth most densely populated state, and third highest in property tax rates. With a relatively high average home cost of $286,700, the state’s effective property tax rate calculates to 2.15 percent. These rates have risen in recent years, even as the cost of homes has fallen.
While most of the states at the top of the list are located on the East Coast, Illinois breaks the mold. With an effective property tax rate of 2.23 percent, the Prairie State has the second-highest property tax rate in the country. What’s interesting is that the median price of a home in the state, $212,600, is lower than the national average, which means that the overall cost of owning a home in Illinois isn’t prohibitively high. That average has climbed substantially from last year however, when it was $194,500.
RELATED: The 10 Best Cities in the U.S. for House Flipping
The most expensive place to own a home in the country is New Jersey, which has an effective property tax rate of 2.47 percent. The average New Jersey homeowner pays a whopping $8,797 in property taxes alone! Because of the state’s desirable East Coast location and proximity to New York City, the median home value, at $335,700, is also among the highest in the country.