Property taxes are an important tool to help finance state and local governments. In fiscal year 2014, they comprised the largest source of state and local tax collections, at 31.3 percent.
Median property taxes paid varies among states. The lowest median property tax is $214 in Richland Parish, Louisiana, in the northeast part of the state. The three counties with the highest median property tax all have bills exceeding $10,000 – Nassau County, Rockland County, and Westchester County, all located in New York state and near New York City.
[Click here to see an interactive map — hover the mouse over a given county to see the median about of property tax residents there pay. ]
Reliance on property taxes varies not only among states, but within states as well. For example, in Georgia, where the median property tax bill is relatively low, median property tax paid ranges from $427 in Webster County (near the Alabama border) to $2,661 in Fulton County (a suburb of Atlanta). This is typical among states – higher median payments tend to be concentrated in urban areas. This is partly due to the prevalence of above average home prices in urban cities. Property taxes are assessed as a percentage of home values, so it follows that higher property taxes are paid where housing prices are higher than average.