The highest property taxes in 2016 were paid by homeowners New Jersey, and the lowest were in Alabama.  The difference between the two was impressive; $7,707.  Using the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) charts and tries to explain the distribution of real estate taxes (RET) nationwide.

The data shows that the distribution of RET was little changed in 2016 from the previous year.  The ten highest taxing states are found in the Northeast while the lowest bills are found, with the exception of Texas, in the South. New Jersey property owners paid an average of $8,374 in taxes last year, widening its gap with Alabama by $418.

iven the wide range of home prices or values nationwide, NAHB leveled the field by computing taxes at the state’s rate per $1,000 of home value.  They divided total taxes collected by the total value of owner-occupied homes within the state.  Thus, they arrived at New Jersey as having the highest effective rate in the nation, 2.14 percent or $21.40 per $1,000 of value, and Hawaii having the lowest rate, 0.29 percent of $2.94 per thousand. Despite its low rate, Hawaii ranks 28th in the actual taxes per homeowner because it has the highest average home prices in the country. Although Alabama owner occupants pay the lowest average payment, $667 per year, its rate is higher than many at 0.38 percent.