Several surveys have identified property taxes as the most hated form of taxation in the United States. Unpopular though they may be, property taxes — taxes on personal property like homes and real estate — are the single largest source of revenue for state and local governments in the United States.
Though they are often set by local authorities — including cities, counties, and school boards — state governments often establish parameters in order to keep property tax rates somewhat uniform. No two state tax codes are exactly alike, and how much people actually pay in property taxes depends largely on where they live.
Using data from tax policy research organization the Tax Foundation, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed total property tax payments as a share of total property value at the state level to identify the states with the highest (and lowest) property taxes. In some parts of the country, property taxes are so low as to be almost trivial. In others, however, they can be a major financial burden.
It is important to note that a low property tax rate does not necessarily mean a low overall tax burden. State and local governments need to meet their financial obligations one way or another, and a low effective property tax rate can often mean that other tax rates, like sales or income taxes, can be higher. These are the states where Americans are paying the most in taxes.
Even in high tax states, there are measures individuals can take to reduce the amount they have to pay to the federal government and state and local governments every April. Here are 17 investments and strategies to help lower your taxes.