December 4, 2007

Property Taxes

With the local media repeatedly espousing the statement that we are the highest taxed county and state in the country, when measured as a percentage of home values, I decided to do a little research. Although doing a little homework is apparently over the head of a local newspaper editor and a wannabe MBA student/talk show host, the numbers speak for themselves.

Property taxes -- the principal source of revenue for cities, counties and school districts -- are calculated by multiplying the nominal property-tax rate by the assessment ratio (the percentage of the value of the property that is taxed) by the value of the property.

The figures in this table, put together by the nonprofit Tax Foundation, are for property taxes paid by households on owner-occupied housing. As a result, they exclude property taxes paid by businesses, renters and others.

All data in the table come from the 2005 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. Median tax is the median real estate tax paid on owner-occupied housing units for that state. The home-value statistic used is the median value of owner-occupied housing units for that state.

Property tax burdens by state

State - Median tax - Median value - Tax as % of home value - Rank
Alabama - $302 --- $97,500 ----- 0.31% ------ 48
Alaska - $2,241 --- $197,100 ----- 1.14% ------ 17
Arizona - $1,133 --- $185,400 ----- 0.61% ------ 37
Arkansas - $459 --- $87,400 ----- 0.53% ------ 42
California - $2,278 --- $477,700 ----- 0.48% ------ 45
Colorado - $1,297 --- $223,300 ----- 0.58% ------ 38
Connecticut- $3,865 --- $271,500 ----- 1.42% ------ 10
Delaware - $806 --- $203,800 ----- 0.40% ------ 47
Florida - $1,495 --- $189,500 ----- 0.79% ------ 28
Georgia - $1,050 --- $147,500 ----- 0.71% ------ 32
Hawaii - $924 --- $453,600 ----- 0.20% ------ 49
Idaho - $1,226 --- $134,900 ----- 0.91% ------ 24
Illinois - $2,904 --- $183,900 ----- 1.58% ------ 7
Indiana - $1,079 --- $114,400 ----- 0.94% ------ 23
Iowa - $1,355 --- $106,600 ----- 1.27% ------ 12
Kansas - $1,337 --- $107,800 ----- 1.24% ------ 13
Kentucky - $693 --- $103,900 ----- 0.67% ------ 36
Louisiana - $175 --- $101,700 ----- 0.17% ------ 50
Maine - $1,742 --- $155,300 ----- 1.12% ------ 18
Maryland - $2,159 --- $280,200 ----- 0.77% ------ 29
Masschstts- $2,974 --- $361,500 ----- 0.82% ------ 25
Michigan - $1,846 --- $149,300 ----- 1.24% ------ 14
Minnesota - $1,618 --- $198,800 ----- 0.81% ------ 27
Mississippi- $416 --- $82,700 ----- 0.50% ------ 44
Missouri - $1,012 --- $123,100 ----- 0.82% ------ 26
Montana - $1,309 --- $131,600 ----- 0.99% ------ 20
Nebraska - $1,889 --- $113,200 ----- 1.67% ------ 3
Nevada - $1,445 --- $283,400 ----- 0.51% ------ 43
New Hamp - $3,920 --- $240,100 ----- 1.63% ------ 5
New Jersey- $5,352 --- $333,900 ----- 1.60% ------ 6
New Mexico- $707 --- $125,500 ----- 0.56% ------ 40
New York - $3076 --- $258,900 ----- 1.19% ------ 16
N Carolina - $966 --- $127,600 ----- 0.76% ------ 30
N Dakota - $1,326 --- $88,600 ----- 1.50% ------ 8
Ohio - $1,598 --- $129,600 ----- 1.23% ------ 15
Oklahoma - $635 --- $89,100 ----- 0.71% ------ 31
Oregon - $1,910 --- $201,200 ----- 0.95% ------ 22
Pnnsylvania- $1,937 --- $131,900 ----- 1.47% ------ 9
Rhode Islnd- $3,071 --- $281,300 ----- 1.09% ------ 19
S Carolina - $642 --- $113,100 ----- 0.57% ------ 39
S Dakota - $1,404 --- $101,700 ----- 1.38% ------ 11
Tennessee - $794 --- $114,000 ----- 0.70% ------ 33
Texas - $1,926 --- $106,000 ----- 1.82% ------ 2
Utah - $1,130 --- $167,200 ----- 0.68% ------ 34
Vermont - $2,835 --- $173,400 ----- 1.63% ------ 4
Virginia - $1,418 --- $212,300 ----- 0.67% ------ 35
Washington - $2,250 --- $227,700 ----- 0.99% ------ 21
W Virginia - $389 --- $84,400 ----- 0.46% ------ 46
Wisconsin - $2,777 --- $152,600 ----- 1.82% ------ 1
Wyoming - $737 --- $135,000 ----- 0.55% ------ 41
D.C. - $1,444 --- $384,400 ----- 0.38%

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

SA,

When doing a post, it helps to arrive at a point. It makes it so much more interesting for th reader.

Pete M said...

If you need the point to be explained to you, in light of the B.S about Niagara County & New York State being the highest taxed, you need to either a) go take a reading comprehension course, or b) stay out of the conversation altogether.

It's obvious why you're commenting anonymously, I wouldn't want my name attached to you comment either.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you quoting the same group that Bordelo and Leffler and Christy was reffering to? Didn't you say that group wasn't credible before?

Anonymous said...

Oh by the way talking about commenting anonymously what kind of last name is "m".

Anyway it was stated that we were the highest taxed county no one said anything about the state. I don't think the median priced house in Niagara County is $258,900.

Sail Away said...

I'm not sure who the above comment is directed to, but if it's to me, I'd be happy to address it.

I have never said that the tax Foundation was not credible. What I said is that people take one nugget of information and take it as gospel, or use it to promote their person agenda.

This was the case with Bordeleau. I assume that you know this, but Bordeleau had his sights set on running for County Leg. In fact, he's had his sights set on it for years. In 2003, he wanted to run against Brad Erck. Unfortunately for Bordeleau, he wasn't smart enough to know that he didn't live in Erck's district. Since the GOP had already endorsed Glenn Aronow, Bordeleau was the odd man out.

It did not end there as Bordeleau felt slighted and vowed to get the respect he felt he deserved. He perceived the GOP as the enemy because they would not support his Legislative bid.

In comes the Tax Foundation report saying that Niagara County has the highest taxes when taken as a percentage of home values. Voila, Bordeleau has his cause. He will get revenge on those that snubbed him. Thus, Bordeleau can promote his personal agenda.

Little did anyone care to acknowledge that Niagara County is actually 116th in the country in property taxes. Nor did anyone want to talk about our affordable housing prices.

Also, no one cared to acknowledge that the Tax Foundations findings included ALL taxing jurisdictions, including school taxes, which are three times the amount of county taxes.

It's small minded and just plain ignorant.

As far as Leffler and Confer go, they're entitled to their opinions, just like everyone else. However, I don't give their opinions anymore credence than anyone else on this site or anywhere else. But if you think they don't have their own agendas, namely their hatred for local, state and national government and the GOP, you've got your head buried in the sand.

Laffler said...

Yeah, I'm a umm Libertarian!!! I'm great umm and all of you who are Republican or umm Democrat are umm are stupid. Umm, umm, umm, etc....

Hoffman said...

SA, thanks for the post. I would like to see it drilled down further with rates and levies identified by municipality. I just moved to Somerset - they must have the lowest tax rates in the County at $16/$1000. not that I am complaining just do not understand all the fuss

Anonymous said...

SA nice explaination. Here is some information I had from the county at this website http://www.niagaracounty.com/Insight/customimages/(unfortunately with the new webpage I can’t find it), but maybe you could and share the info with your readers. These were for 2004-2005 and per $1,000.00

County Taxes 04-05
Barker $8.790
Lewiston Porter $8.790
Niagara Falls $8.857
North Tonawanda $8.950
Lockport $9.000
Newfane $9.006
Wilson $9.006
Roy-Hart $9.151
Niagara Wheatfield $10.056
Starpoint

City/Town Taxes 04-05
Newfane $3.000
Lewiston Porter $7.227
Roy-Hart $8.968
Barker $9.055
Wilson $9.735
North Tonawanda $12.506
Lockport $14.831
Niagara Falls $16.865
Non Homestead $30.420
Niagara Wheatfield
Starpoint

School Taxes 04-05
Niagara Falls $16.866
Non Homestead $24.397
Barker $20.247
Niagara Wheatfield $20.312
Non Homestead $28.231
Starpoint $21.636
Lewiston Porter $22.491
North Tonawanda $23.168
Roy-Hart $23.345
Wilson $25.095
Newfane $26.122
Lockport $26.302

Total Taxes 04-05
Niagara Wheatfield $30.368
Starpoint $31.534
Barker $38.092
Newfane $38.128
Lewiston Porter $38.512
Roy-Hart $41.464
Niagara Falls $42.588
Wilson $43.836
North Tonawanda $44.624
Lockport $50.133

pirate's code said...

SA --

When it comes to the generation and use of such statistics, your sailing against the wind. I get your point, to be sure -- people castigate county government for taxes being too high, when in fact the source of their ire is their overall tax bill.

That said, in today's sound-bite world of journalism and the increasingly short attention span of most of the populace, separating county government costs from the rest of our tax bills is a difference without distinction.

And, let's face it -- would our housing costs be quite so "affordable" if our economy were thriving? I would love to think that the house I built 15 years ago for $150-k had doubled in value, but we all know that isn't the case. In a booming economy, in a growing region? Maybe. But not here, not now. The "affordable" label works if you are buying, but hurts if you are selling. That's a horrible dilemma if you are at or near retirement age and were counting on the value of your real estate to bolster your retirement income.

There are lots of things that need to be fixed if our economy is really going to turn the corner. Taxes are high on that list -- all of them. It is unfair that county government seems to bear the brunt of the criticism around here, but I'm afraid it comes with the territory.

Besides, if you start inserting facts and reason into the debate, you'll take all the fun out of it for some of the more colorful pundits in this area.