U.S. Cities With the Highest and Lowest Property Taxes

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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U.S. Census Bureau data shows that in aggregate, property taxes are the biggest source of tax revenue for state and local governments.

According to the latest data from the Census Bureau, the median annual property tax paid by homeowners was $2,578 in 2019, or 1.03% of home value, but many households pay far more than that. Property tax rates vary widely by location, making some parts of the U.S. far more expensive places to live.

Further, beginning in 2018, the state and local tax (SALT) cap began limiting the amount that could be deducted against federal income taxes. Consequently, living in a high-tax state has become increasingly more expensive.

Meanwhile, the shift toward remote work during the coronavirus pandemic provides a new level of flexibility for homeowners to relocate from high- to low-tax states, regardless of where their employer is based.

While property taxes are levied in different ways based on local and state laws, a helpful way to compare tax burdens across locations is to calculate an effective property tax rate, which is found by dividing the total property taxes paid by the aggregate value of homes in a given area.

To determine the cities with the highest and lowest property taxes, our researchers analyzed the latest data from the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. Cities were ranked according to their effective property tax rate.

The following are the 10 large U.S. cities with the highest property tax rates, followed by the 10 large cities with the lowest.

Highest property taxes:
1. Milwaukee

Milwaukee
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  • Effective property tax rate: 2.17%
  • Median property taxes paid: $3,122
  • Median home value: $133,600
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $66,465

2. El Paso, Texas

El Paso, Texas
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  • Effective property tax rate: 2.13%
  • Median property taxes paid: $3,136
  • Median home value: $133,600
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $61,830

3. Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas
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  • Effective property tax rate: 1.86%
  • Median property taxes paid: $4,155
  • Median home value: $209,400
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $85,273

4. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Texas outdoors
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  • Effective property tax rate: 1.85%
  • Median property taxes paid: $3,260
  • Median home value: $171,100
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $70,938

5. Arlington, Texas

Arlington, Texas
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  • Effective property tax rate: 1.75%
  • Median property taxes paid: $3,889
  • Median home value: $213,800
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $83,119

6. Omaha, Nebraska

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge in Omaha, Nebraska
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  • Effective property tax rate: 1.71%
  • Median property taxes paid: $3,283
  • Median home value: $175,800
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $82,650

7. Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio
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  • Effective property tax rate: 1.62%
  • Median property taxes paid: $2,776
  • Median home value: $173,300
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $77,951

8. Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas
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  • Effective property tax rate: 1.53%
  • Median property taxes paid: $6,616
  • Median home value: $378,300
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $114,776

9. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio
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  • Effective property tax rate: 1.51%
  • Median property taxes paid: $1,508
  • Median home value: $71,100
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $47,562

10. Dallas

Dallas, Texas
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  • Effective property tax rate: 1.49%
  • Median property taxes paid: $3,840
  • Median home value: $231,400
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $77,286

Next, the large cities with the lowest property tax rates.

Lowest property taxes:
1. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs
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  • Effective property tax rate: 0.48%
  • Median property taxes paid: $1,375
  • Median home value: $318,200
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $89,230

2. Denver

Denver, Colorado
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  • Effective property tax rate: 0.49%
  • Median property taxes paid: $2,118
  • Median home value: $447,500
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $103,069

3. Mesa, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona
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  • Effective property tax rate: 0.57%
  • Median property taxes paid: $1,343
  • Median home value: $259,300
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $77,774

4. San Francisco

Homes in San Francisco, California
Sergey Novikov / Shutterstock.com
  • Effective property tax rate: 0.57%
  • Median property taxes paid: $7,678
  • Median home value: $1,217,500
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $151,654

5. Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona
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  • Effective property tax rate: 0.58%
  • Median property taxes paid: $1,537
  • Median home value: $266,600
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $80,217

6. Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.
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  • Effective property tax rate: 0.58%
  • Median property taxes paid: $3,647
  • Median home value: $646,500
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $147,678

7. Boston

Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Effective property tax rate: 0.58%
  • Median property taxes paid: $3,667
  • Median home value: $627,000
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $132,762

8. Las Vegas

Las Vegas homes
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  • Effective property tax rate: 0.59%
  • Median property taxes paid: $1,698
  • Median home value: $305,900
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $81,125

9. Aurora, Colorado

Aurora, Colorado
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  • Effective property tax rate: 0.60%
  • Median property taxes paid: $1,793
  • Median home value: $343,000
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $87,867

10. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee
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  • Effective property tax rate: 0.60%
  • Median property taxes paid: $1,797
  • Median home value: $287,300
  • Median household income (owner-occupied homes): $83,852

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