A recent state-by-state report sheds new light on the property taxes paid by homeowners across the nation. Unsurprisingly, Texas ranks among the highest.
According to WalletHub, Texas homeowners pay the sixth-highest property tax bills on a $194,000 home, the median home value nationwide in 2017. But home values between states vary dramatically. A comparison between Texas and Washington D.C. illustrates why failing to account for these variations can skew the data.
Texans may pay the sixth-highest tax bill ($3,544) on a $194,000 home, compared to D.C. residents paying the 48th highest ($1,055). But when median home values in each state are used—$155,150 in Texas versus a whopping $537,400 in D.C.—homeowners at the median in both states pay roughly the same ($2,750).
After adjusting for each state’s home values, Texans pay the 15th-highest property tax burden in the nation. In other words, the property tax bill paid by Texans are the 15th highest in the nation, leading nearly every other Republican state.
With the exception of Texas, Alaska, and Wisconsin, states with the highest property taxes tend to be Democrat-heavy. All but three were states carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016. Conversely, Texans write the third-biggest property tax checks among the 30 states carried by President Donald Trump.
Many officials claim that Texas’ high property taxes are the result of it not levying a personal income tax. But the data suggests the opposite is true; the 11 states with the highest property taxes all have an income tax. On top of that, six of the 10 states with the highest personal income taxes also levy the highest property taxes.
The data shows a strong correlation between states with both high personal income taxes and high property taxes, not high property taxes and no or low-income taxes.
In fact, after adjusting for home values, New Jersey and New York levy very high property tax bills (first and fourth overall), while also levying some of the highest personal income tax rates (sixth and ninth overall).
Texas lawmakers often brag about Texas “leading” the nation as a low-tax state. Perhaps these public servants should be reminded that Texas lagging nearly every other Republican-run state on property taxes is a status that taxpayers can afford to lose.
*Denotes one of the seven states without a personal income tax.
Underlined denotes a state ranked among the top 10 that levy the highest personal income tax rates.