The Ten States With The Worst Property Taxes

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5. New York
> Average Property Taxes as % of Median Income: 5.08% (5th Most)
> Average Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes: $3,736 (5th Most)
> Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (23rd lowest)
> Average Median Income of Home Owners: $70,589 (15th Highest)
> % decrease in Median Home value (2006-2009): +3.2% (28th Greatest Increase)

New York homes increased 3.2% in value between 2006 and 2009, which is near the median change among states. Empire State residents have the fifteenth-highest median income in the country, at $70,589, and the state has an unemployment rate 8.2%, slightly lower than the national average of 8.8%. Median home values and residence tax burdens vary widely by county in the state: In Cattaraugus County near the Pennsylvania border, the median home value is $77,800, compared to a national average of $63,000 while residents spend 3.8% of their income on home taxes. In Manhattan, the average residence value is $849,000. In Westchester county, outside New York, residents spend an astonishing 8.2% of their income on residence taxes.

4. Connecticut
> Average Property Taxes as % of Median Income: 5.21% (4th Most)
> Average Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes: $4,436 (3rd Most)
> Unemployment Rate: 9% (22nd highest)
> Average Median Income for Home Owners: $84,429 (4th Highest)
> % decrease in Median Home value (2006-2009): -0.6% (14th greatest decrease)

Connecticut homeowners spend 5.2% of their income on property taxes each year, the fourth-most in the country. With slightly above-average unemployment rates and the fourth highest median homeowner income in the country, there is probably less pressure on most residents from property taxes than in most states on the average Connecticut homeowner. Home values declined slightly between 2006 and 2009, although this was above the national average decrease of 2%. Current median property values range from $224,000 in Windham County in the Northeastern part of the state to $460,000 in Fairfield County near New York City. Fairfield County homeowners pay 6.3% of their annual incomes on property taxes (while in Windham the figure is 4.3%

3. Vermont
> Average Property Taxes as % of Median Income: 5.4% (3rd Most)
> Average Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes: $4,618 (3rd Most)
> Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (5th lowest)
> Average Median Income for Home Owners: $77,161 (7th Highest)
> % decrease in Median Home value (2006-2009): +9.0% (20th largest increase)

Vermont residents spend 5% of their net incomes on property taxes, the third most in the country. The median homeowner income is the seventh-highest in the U.S., at $77,161 per person. An additional boon for state homeowners is a 9% increase in home values between 2006 and 2009, well above the national average. Unemployment is low, which in theory should mean the pool of potential homebuyers should be greater than in many other states.

2. New Hampshire
> Average Property Taxes as % of Median Income: 6.38% (2nd Most)
> Average Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes: $4,168 (2nd Most)
> Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (4th lowest)
> Average Median Income for Home Owners: $72,489 (13th Highest)
> % decrease in Median Home value (2006-2009): -2.8% (11th Greatest Decrease)

Vermont’s neighbor, New Hampshire, has an even higher rate of property taxes as a percent of resident income, at 6.38%. The state’s residents also pay the second-most overall on taxes, a median of $4,168 per household. Unlike Vermont, property values decreased by 2.8% between 2006 and 2009, the  11th highest decrease in the country. New Hampshire has comparably low unemployment rates and median income for homeowners, meaning residents are probably more capable of paying these large property taxes than the residents of less well-off states.

1. New Jersey
> Average Property Taxes as % of Median Income: 7.28% (The Most)
> Average Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes: $6,348 (The Most)
> Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (20th highest)
> Average Median Income for Home Owners: $86,424 (2nd Highest)
> % Change in Median Home value (2006-2009): -4.5% (8th Greatest Decrease)

New Jersey residents spend more as a percentage of their incomes on property taxes than any other state. In some New Jersey counties, the amount of the annual property tax is enormous. In Passaic County in Northern New Jersey, the property tax as a percent of income is nearly 10%. Residents have not been helped by the fact that property values in the state decreased 4.5% between 2006 and 2009, which is the 8th greatest decrease in the country over that time period.

-Michael B. Sauter, Douglas A. McIntyre