The best and worst places in America for property taxes

National average is $2,800 - what will you pay?

The biggest cost of homeownership may be the mortgage, but something about property taxes really stands out since property taxes ultimately make renters of us all.

So at the very least, it’s good to know where a buyer can minimize their property tax bill, and Zillow (Z) has the answer.  

According to their research, in 2012, American homeowners paid an average of $2,800 in property taxes.

Residents of New York, New Jersey, and Colorado probably already know they pay high taxes, but Zillow found that in some cases the property tax burden in those three states was five times more than the national average.

The numbers are based on an average of real estate taxes paid on single family housing in 2012.

Adjusting for the average cost of single-family homes in each county, homeowners in Allegany County, NY win the award for the highest property tax burden.

The average tax obligation of $2,549 in Allegany County amounts to 3.8% of the average single-family home value; in Westchester County, the average tax obligation is slightly lower, at 2.5% of the county’s average home value.

Nationally, the typical homeowner is spending approximately 1.4% of their home’s value on annual property taxes.

To see the 10 counties with the highest and lowest property tax burden as a percentage of value, and the 10 counties with the highest and lowest actual property tax amounts, click below.

Courtesy Zillow

Highest Property Taxes as a Percent of Home Value

  1. Allegany County, NY (3.76%)
  2. Milwaukee County, WI (3.68%)
  3. Kendall County, IL (3.57%)
  4. Sullivan County, NY (3.56%)
  5. Orleans County, NY (3.49%)

Lowest Property Taxes as a Percent of Home Value

  1. Caroline County, VA (0.17%)
  2. Catahoula County, LA and Randolph AR (0.2%)
  3. Iberville County, LA and Cumberland County, TN (0.21%)
  4. Butler County, PA and Maui County, HI (0.22%)
  5. Elmore County, AL and De Soto County, LA (0.23%)