Property Taxes Rose in 2019, But Increases Are Smallest in 3 Years

April 9, 2020

The amount of property taxes levied on single-family homes last year totaled $306.4 billion, up 1% from the year prior, ATTOM Data Solutions reported Thursday. Most homeowners faced a higher tax bill in 2019, averaging $3,561 per home—or an effective tax rate of 1.14%--although that varied considerably from county to county.

Nevertheless, “the nationwide increase was the smallest in the last three years, a sign that cities, towns, and counties are taking stronger steps to clamp down on how much they hit up property owners to support schools and local government services,” says Todd Teta, chief product officer for ATTOM Data Solutions. “Without major changes in the way local government and educational systems are funded, demands for good schools and other services will continue to put upward pressure on property taxes. But on balance, 2019 was a relatively mild year for taxpayers around the nation.”

As the country now faces a pandemic, some homeowners are calling on their county governments to delay property taxes. For example, homeowners throughout California have been pressing their local officials for a property tax break, but tax collectors in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties say they won’t waive the property tax deadline, even as tax offices remain closed to the public during stay-at-home orders. The municipalities did agree to waive late fees on a case-by-case basis for those who are unable to pay on time. Other counties are weighing similar moves. 

Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Vermont, and Connecticut had the highest effective property tax rates in the nation in 2019. The effective tax rate is the average annual property tax expressed as a percentage of the average estimated market value of homes in an area. The report from ATTOM Data Solutions showed the effective property tax rates were highest in Illinois (2.22%); New Jersey (2.19%); Texas (2.11%); Vermont (2.11%); and Connecticut (2.04%). Other states completing the top 10 for highest effective property tax rates were New Hampshire (1.93%); New York (1.87%); Pennsylvania (1.75%); Ohio (1.68%); and Nebraska (1.57%).

Eleven counties averaged annual property taxes of more than $10,000, led by Westchester County, N.Y. ($18,103); Rockland County, N.Y. ($13,048); Marin County, Calif. ($12,250); Essex County, N.J. ($12,206); and Nassau County, N.J. ($11,952).

Meanwhile, the 10 states with the lowest effective property tax rates in 2019 were:

  1. Hawaii: 0.36%
  2. Alabama: 0.48%
  3. Colorado: 0.52%
  4. Utah: 0.56%
  5. Nevada: 0.58%
  6. Tennessee: 0.61%
  7. West Virginia: 0.61%
  8. Delaware: 0.62%
  9. Arizona: 0.63%
  10. Wyoming: 0.65%