Homeowners across most of the country had to dig deeper into their pockets last year, as total property tax collections rose by 4 percent from 2017, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ 2018 property tax analysis.
In 2017, homeowners paid an average of $3,498, but last year the average property taxes rang up higher at $3,399. The effective average property tax rate was down one basis point from 1.17 percent in 2017, to 1.16 percent in 2018. Single-family homeowners paid a total of $304.6 billion in property taxes, which was 4 percent more than $293.4 billion in 2017.
Although midway through last year home prices began to moderate, they were still on the rise across the country, which is why many folks are seeing bigger tax bills. In December, home prices rose 4.7 percent — the slowest growth since December 2012, according to CoreLogic.
More expensive areas tend to have higher average property taxes, since home values are higher, such as Westchester County, New York ($17,392), Rockland County, New York ($12,925), Marin County, California ($12,242) and Essex County, New Jersey ($12,161).
Hawaii stands out for high property values, low taxes
However, Hawaii is an anomaly. The Aloha State boasts some of the most expensive property in the country but also has the lowest property tax rate, just .37 percent of assessed value. This is 11 basis points lower than the second-lowest property tax state, which is Alabama at .48 percent. Although the average estimated value of a single-family home in Hawaii is a whopping $761,864, the average property tax bill is just $2,824 — roughly the same as South Dakota ($2,816), where the average estimated value of a house is $214,706.
More than half (55 percent) of the 219 areas studied in the report showed an increase above the national average of 3 percent. Both Atlanta and San Francisco had 7 percent increases while Montana showed a 19 percent increase from 2017. Other eye-popping hikes include Kansas, showing an 18 percent uptick, and Washington with a 13 percent rise.
Just six states that saw a drop in their annual bill. New Mexico (-17 percent), Nevada (-15 percent), Pennsylvania (-6 percent), Oklahoma (-4 percent), Iowa (-2 percent) and Alaska (-1 percent) all saw decreases in average property taxes.
Homeowners who were impacted by natural disasters might see a reduction in their taxes this year. In Alaska, folks who were affected by the Nov. 30 7.0 earthquake received assessment notices, those with red or yellow tags were asked to contact the assessor’s office because their property was deemed damaged. Those owners are likely eligible for a tax reduction.
The Golden State topped the list for most property taxes collected, totaling $40.3 billion, followed by Texas with $37.2 billion and, in third place is New York with $23.2 billion.