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The Cities with the Highest and Lowest Property Tax Rates

June 27, 2016 1:01 am

Property taxes—levies imposed on owners of properties—are an important consideration for homeowners, buyers and sellers. The tax rate, which is typically overseen by a local government, varies depending on location.

“The property tax is a critical source of revenue for local government services, from education to public safety,” says Joan Youngman, chair of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s Department of Valuation and Taxation. The Institute recently released its annual 50-State Property Tax Comparison Study, which tracks “effective” property tax rates in every state.

Currently, the city with the highest property tax rate on a median-valued home is Bridgeport, Conn., at 3.88 percent, according to the study. Bridgeport residents have a higher rate because they pay no income or local sales taxes. The city with the second-highest property tax rate is Detroit at 3.81 percent, due to the city’s flat home values.

Rounding out the top five cities with the highest property tax rates are Aurora, Ill. (3.72 percent), Newark, N.J. (3.05 percent), and Milwaukee, Wis. (2.68 percent).

Honolulu, in contrast, has the lowest property tax rate on a median-valued home at 0.30 percent, due in part to high home values, according to the study. Cheyenne, Wyo. (0.65 percent), Denver (0.66 percent), Birmingham, Ala. (0.66 percent), and Boston (0.67 percent) follow suit.

Per the study, New York City ranks highest for apartment property tax rates, at five times higher than that on a median-valued home.

Generally, property tax rates are determined at the local level. Contact a real estate professional in your area for more information.

Source: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

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