Metros with the fastest-growing property taxes in America
Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Metros with the fastest-growing property taxes in America
Homeowners in certain parts of New Jersey, Illinois, and New Hampshire probably already know that they pay the highest tax rates in the U.S. But it was mostly metro areas in southern states that saw the highest growth in property tax rates since last year.
Using analysis from real estate data platform ATTOM Data, Agent Advice examined the average property tax in more than 100 major metropolitan areas across the country to see where property taxes increased the most from 2020 to 2021 (the latest data available).
To be included, each metro area had to have a population of at least 500,000. Metro areas include the main city and its surrounding towns and suburbs. The average tax rate is calculated using the average estimated market value of homes in each area.
Home values in the U.S. skyrocketed in 2021, rising faster in one year than they have in recent history. Propelled by low interest rates, demand for homes shot up while builders struggled to complete enough new homes to satisfy buyers. The typical American homeowner saw their house jump tens of thousands of dollars in value.
Those home values jumped so quickly that effective tax rates in 2021 likely didn’t wholly account for the increases. In fact, effective tax rates largely declined across the country last year.
The average tax on single-family homes in the U.S. rose by 1.8% in 2021 compared to the year before, according to ATTOM Data. This represents the slowest rate of growth in five years. Smaller metros recorded some of the biggest tax increases, as home prices grew the most in these places.
#20. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
– Average property taxes in 2021: $6,474
– Average property taxes in 2020: $5,919
— (up 9.4%)
Philadelphia is in the midst of making some of the biggest changes in years to the city’s taxes. Property owners have seen their taxes rise dramatically in concert with home prices over the last three years. The new tax plan would keep the property tax rate the same. But it would nearly double the value of the city’s homestead exemption to $80,000, decreasing the total value homeowners have to pay taxes on.
#19. Ogden, Utah
– Average property taxes in 2021: $2,529
– Average property taxes in 2020: $2,309
— (up 9.5%)
The mountain town of Ogden is known for scenic views, hiking, art, and nearby ski resorts. Americans moved en masse to cities in Utah—including Provo and Ogden—driving housing prices up. A May 2022 study Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University found that Ogden was one of more than a dozen cities across the U.S. that are now overvalued by more than 50%.
#18. Greenville, South Carolina
– Average property taxes in 2021: $1,559
– Average property taxes in 2020: $1,419
— (up 9.9%)
Greenville home values have risen dramatically over the past two years, and in its downtown region specifically. The average listing price of a home there jumped from $295,000 to $350,000 from April 2021 to April 2022, according to data from Realtor.com—pulling up surrounding towns’ property values with it. Real estate analysts in the area point to out-of-town remote workers moving in as the reason for skyrocketing home values.
The Greenville metro area is also an economic powerhouse serving as a manufacturing hub for the state. It’s home to BMW’s 7 million square foot Spartanburg assembly plant that employs 11,000 as well as tire manufacturer Michelin’s U.S. headquarters.
#17. Atlanta, Georgia
– Average property taxes in 2021: $3,083
– Average property taxes in 2020: $2,790
— (up 10.5%)
Atlanta’s housing shortage has reached the point that the mayor has begun calling for limits on how many homes investors can purchase. According to Redfin data, 1 in 3 homes sold in the Atlanta area in the first quarter of 2022 were purchased by investors rather than residents.
And the Atlanta area will likely need to brace for more property tax increases. Hundreds of thousands of appraisals are reportedly going out to residents this summer with even steeper hikes.
#16. Charlotte, North Carolina
– Average property taxes in 2021: $2,436
– Average property taxes in 2020: $2,198
— (up 10.8%)
Home prices in Charlotte are hitting record highs this year after a considerable jump in 2021. Similar to Atlanta, investors accounted for a considerable portion of home purchases—around 1 in 3 home sales in Charlotte during the fourth quarter of 2021 went to an investor, according to Redfin data.
Some speculate that North Carolina’s relatively low property tax rate is driving its recent real estate boom, but as home values go up, so too will the effective taxes residents are on the hook for.
EQRoy // Shutterstock
#15. Louisville, Kentucky
– Average property taxes in 2021: $2,199
– Average property taxes in 2020: $1,981
— (up 11.0%)
Louisville, the city perhaps most often associated with the Kentucky Derby and its ties to the sport of baseball, is seeing home values tick up like the rest of the U.S. more populous metros.
An existing homeowner in Louisville told Spectrum News in April 2022 that the increasing property taxes in the area made them nervous about purchasing a new home. And some retirees are calling on lawmakers to cap property tax increases that are threatening to pinch the wallets of aging residents on fixed incomes.
#14. Columbia, South Carolina
– Average property taxes in 2021: $1,524
– Average property taxes in 2020: $1,373
— (up 11.0%)
Home sales activity was hot in South Carolina’s capital in 2021, driving up values as well as triggering property tax reassessments.
Thanks to reforms passed in 2007, homes in South Carolina are often taxed on less than they are actually valued at because they get reassessed when the home changes owners. The South Carolina legislature recently approved a historic spending package that included billions in income tax cuts and rebates, but has not acted on property taxes.
#13. Charleston, South Carolina
– Average property taxes in 2021: $2,697
– Average property taxes in 2020: $2,408
— (up 12.0%)
Located two hours south of Myrtle Beach, Charleston is affected by the surge of Americans moving to South Carolina. A report from moving company United Van Lines found that South Carolina experienced the third-most inbound migration in 2021.
Homeowners in the metro area, however, do benefit from a tourism-fueled sales tax structure intended to offset property taxes. South Carolina’s port city of Charleston operates under the same property tax assessment mechanisms as Columbia.
fsendek // Shutterstock
#12. Grand Rapids, Michigan
– Average property taxes in 2021: $3,417
– Average property taxes in 2020: $3,043
— (up 12.3%)
The Grand Rapids metro area stretches from central Michigan all the way west to the Lake Michigan beach towns of Grand Haven, Holland, Saugatuck, and Muskegon. The region hasn’t been unscathed by the nationwide shortage of housing and influx of residents to less-dense metros during the pandemic—driving up home values, property taxes, and rents.
In April 2022, homes in the Grand Rapids real estate market reached a record high median listing price of nearly $240,000—up from $208,000 in April 2021, according to Realtor.com data. In May, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Michigan’s first-ever statewide housing plan in acknowledgment of the increasing lack of affordable housing.
#11. Baltimore, Maryland
– Average property taxes in 2021: $4,201
– Average property taxes in 2020: $3,740
— (up 12.3%)
Situated in central Maryland and famous for the nearby Chesapeake Bay, the Baltimore metro includes the surrounding cities of Columbia and Towson. Home prices in the metro area are rising, but inventory increased in May 2022 for the first time in three years, signaling the market could be cooling slightly.
Baltimore’s city tax rate is higher than those of surrounding counties, however, and activists are pushing to lower it—arguing it would create more equitable conditions for Black homeowners.
#10. Colorado Springs, Colorado
– Average property taxes in 2021: $1,935
– Average property taxes in 2020: $1,693
— (up 14.3%)
The median single family home value in Colorado Springs hit a new record-high in May 2022 after seven straight years of price gains. The metro area sits in El Paso County, one of the most populous regions in the state.
A poll by the city’s chamber of commerce found that nearly all renters and half of homeowners in El Paso County were concerned about housing affordability. Colorado legislators recently passed a property tax bill aimed at providing relief from skyrocketing home values across the state.
#9. Modesto, California
– Average property taxes in 2021: $3,305
– Average property taxes in 2020: $2,883
— (up 14.6%)
The Modesto metro is located two hours east of San Francisco, and is subject to the same high tax environment as other California metros. The typical list price of a Modesto home was $445,000 in April 2022—up from $391,000 year over year, per Realtor.com.
The city of Modesto is reportedly working to identify barriers to building more affordable housing. At least one real estate expert said the Modesto region has had a shortage of more than 1,000 homes each year since the 2008 recession.
#8. Omaha, Nebraska
– Average property taxes in 2021: $4,273
– Average property taxes in 2020: $3,720
— (up 14.9%)
The Omaha metro area includes the cities of Papillion and Bellevue, and is currently suffering from a shortage of homes affordable for middle- and lower-income residents. The typical listing price of a home in Omaha was nearly $250,000 in April 2022—an almost 20% increase from the same time period in 2020, according to Realtor.com data.
The Nebraska legislature recently passed a bill that would provide homeowners with $1.6 billion in property tax relief over the next decade, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
#7. Augusta, Georgia
– Average property taxes in 2021: $1,434
– Average property taxes in 2020: $1,236
— (up 16.0%)
The Augusta, Georgia metro area includes Richmond, Burke, and Columbia as well as seven other nearby counties. Home values have risen considerably in the region since the pandemic began. The typical Augusta home listed for $215,000 in April 2022—up from nearly $120,000 in April 2020, according to Realtor.com.
In 2021, a majority of homeowners in Augusta were saddled with higher property tax bills due to skyrocketing property values. After six years of tax rate cuts, the city declined to cut property tax rates in 2021.
#6. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
– Average property taxes in 2021: $4,807
– Average property taxes in 2020: $4,052
— (up 18.6%)
The eight-county Milwaukee metro area sits in southeastern Wisconsin and borders Lake Michigan’s western shore. The typical home in Milwaukee listed for around $175,000 in April 2022—up from $140,000 in April 2020, according to data from Realtor.com.
In the past two years, homes have been selling well above listing price. The housing shortage in Milwaukee gives more leverage to sellers, and is driving up home values and property taxes with it. Local officials worry constituents’ wages haven’t increased enough over the past two years to account for the property tax bills likely headed their way.
Similar to other parts of the U.S., out-of-state corporate investors have been buying up housing in the metro area, drawing pushback from local community groups.
#5. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
– Average property taxes in 2021: $1,808
– Average property taxes in 2020: $1,500
— (up 20.5%)
The Winston-Salem metro includes Forsyth, Stokes, Davie, Davidson, and Yadkin counties, and is one of the most populous regions in North Carolina.
North Carolina has no state-level property tax, but cities and counties collect their own taxes. Forsyth County recently approved its 2022-2023 budget for the next year without any property tax hikes.
The typical home in Winston-Salem listed for $273,000 in April 2022—up from $207,000 in April 2020, according to data from Realtor.com. Like other parts of the southern U.S., rising property values in North Carolina have been exacerbated by the pandemic boom in real estate activity.
#4. Chattanooga, Tennessee
– Average property taxes in 2021: $1,721
– Average property taxes in 2020: $1,411
— (up 22.0%)
With low overall taxes that include a lack of state income tax, Tennessee has attracted remote workers and retirees over the course of the pandemic.
In Chattanooga, residents who saw their property tax bill increase in 2021 are likely to see a similar increase in 2022. Housing inventory in the region hasn’t kept up with demand, sending the typical home value up roughly 20% over the past year, according to data from Realtor.com.
Developers have announced a number of new housing initiatives along the Tennessee River that runs through the city.
NaturalStock // Shutterstock
#3. Knoxville, Tennessee
– Average property taxes in 2021: $1,318
– Average property taxes in 2020: $1,079
— (up 22.2%)
Like Chattanooga, Knoxville’s housing has also been affected by an influx of residents during the pandemic as Americans seized on the freedoms of remote work and flocked to less dense cities with low taxes.
And home values are rising even more dramatically than in Chattanooga to the southwest. The typical home in Knoxville listed for $350,000 in April 2022—a nearly $100,000 increase from April 2020, per Realtor.com.
#2. Nashville, Tennessee
– Average property taxes in 2021: $2,226
– Average property taxes in 2020: $1,753
— (up 27.0%)
Nowhere was Tennessee’s rising home values more apparent in average property tax calculations than in Nashville. As demand for homes drives values up, increases in property taxes are pinching everyone from renters to small businesses.
In April 2022, the typical Nashville home listed for nearly $450,000—up from $340,000 two years ago, according to Realtor.com data. The government legislature overseeing Nashville and Davidson County passed a considerable property tax hike in summer 2020 fearing the pandemic would cause budgets to be strained.
#1. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
– Average property taxes in 2021: $5,507
– Average property taxes in 2020: $4,261
— (up 29.2%)
Lancaster sits in the south central portion of Pennsylvania and is best known for its large Amish community. The metro area has seen home values rise, driven by a shortage of housing inventory and influx of millennial homebuyers, according to local realtors.
The typical listing price of a home in Lancaster ballooned from $250,000 in April 2020 to nearly $290,000 in April 2022, according to Realtor.com data.
Most local governments did not increase property taxes during the pandemic; however, many local school districts in the Lancaster area are proposing tax hikes for the upcoming 2022-2023 budget, according to LancasterOnline.
This story originally appeared on Agent Advice and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.