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Property taxes hit highest level in 20 years

States and local governments collect $488.34 billion in 2013

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If the amount of property taxes collected by state and local governments is an indicator of the health of the economy, then the much-debated recovery is real.

The amount of property taxes collected in 2013 was the highest in 20 years, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The total amount of property taxes collected by states and local governments was $488.34 billion in 2013. That figure represents a 3% increase over the amount collected in 2012, when $473.71 billion was collected.

In fact, individual quarterly records were set in three of the four quarters in 2013.

Only the first quarter did not reach record levels for property taxes collected. The first quarter of 2013 saw $116.3 billion in property taxes collected, narrowly missing the record of $118.58 billion collected in the first quarter of 2009.

The second quarter of 2013 saw a record $91.89 billion collected. The third quarter also set another record at $97.38 billion.

The $182.76 billion collected in the fourth quarter was the largest quarterly intake of property taxes in any quarter since 1992.

On the whole, property tax revenue continues on its upward trend. In 1992, the first year in which data was made available, $180.82 billion was collected.

The total property taxes collected in 2013 represents a 270% increase from the amount collected in 1992.

The total tax collected has increased in every year with the exception of 2010, where the total tax decreased by only $5 million.

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