Want to pay less in property taxes? Move South

Aly J. Yale
Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports Contributor
March 5, 2019 - 2 min read

A wide spread

Southern states boast the lowest in average real estate taxes, according to a new analysis. In fact, New Jersey homeowners willing to move to low-cost states like Alabama could save as much as $8,000 a year in property taxes.

Highs and lows

According to data from the National Association of Home Builders, New Jersey residents pay the most in property taxes every year. The average homeowner pays nearly $8,500 annually in real estate taxes. The state also has the nation’s highest effective tax rate at 2.13 percent.

Alabama, on the other hand, claims the annual property tax bill, with homeowners paying just $684 a year. Hawaii has the lowest overall tax rate at 0.30 percent.

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For the most part, the South claims the lowest property taxes, with the exception of Texas. Though Texas ranks No. 30 for average home values, its residents pay the 11th-highest real estate taxes in the nation.

“Texas is an illustrative example of a state in which home values hardly, if at all, explain real estate tax bills faced by homeowners,” said NAHB’s David Logan.

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State-by-state taxes

According to the data, the lowest property bills are in Hawaii, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, Wyoming and New Mexico. The highest are in New Jersey, California, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont.

If you just look at tax rates, the numbers shake out differently. The lowest effective property tax rates are in Hawaii, Alabama, South Carolina, West Virginia and Colorado, while the highest are in Illinois, New Jersey, Vermont and New Hampshire.

“NAHB research consistently shows that property tax rates differ substantially across the United States, with the southern states typically registering some of the lowest rates, with the exception of Texas,” Logan said. “Additionally, states in the Northeast and Midwest have tended to register some of the highest rates in the nation.”

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