Property taxes are levied in the District of Columbia and every state. Property taxes are generally levied at the local level, either through the county, city or municipality. Many Americans pay property taxes at both the city and county level. Each state determines how they will charge property taxes and what the taxes will fund. As a result state property taxes vary greatly.
New Jersey ranks first in the amount of state property taxes paid. The average homeowner in New Jersey owns a home that is worth $334,000 and pays about $5300 a year in New Jersey property taxes. New Jersey taxes homes at 100% of the fair market value, which is unusual. Most other states tax your home at about 40% of the fair market value, which is one of the reasons that New Jersey property taxes are so much higher than most other states.
The lowest state property taxes are those paid in Louisiana. Residents of Louisiana pay, on average, just $175 in property taxes each year, and their homes are worth an average of $101,000.
Most states are consistent in that they charge property taxes at the local level and that the funds are primarily used to fund local programs, too. State property taxes are generally used to fund schools, roads, police support, fire support and local government budgets. In some states, a portion of the property tax you pay funds the state’s budget as well. Nearly all states’ property taxes are determined by the value of the resident’s home, though some states charge property taxes on other items besides homes and land.
Seven states in the US don’t charge state income tax. These are Florida, Alaska, Nevada, Texas, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. New Hampshire and Tennessee charge income tax only on income derived from interest and dividends; not your salaries and wages. These states typically make up their revenue deficiencies through higher sales and property taxes. The state of Maine has the highest income tax; taxing their residents at an average of 13.5% of their income.
Only five states don’t have state sales tax. These are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. In the other states, sales tax ranges from 2.9% in Colorado to 7.25% in California. States also charge gasoline tax (the national average is .45 a gallon including the federal tax too) and special taxes on tobacco products. Tobacco products have seen the most significant rise of any products in recent years. They vary widely by state, with some states charging as little as seven cents a pack to a whopping 2.58 cents per pack.