Tax Foundation reports Washington ranks #23 in effective property tax rates on owner-occupied housing

The Tax Foundation is out with a new property tax ranking. Washington comes in in the middle of the pack, as the map below shows. (We admit it; we like their maps.)

TF Property tax map

With an effective property tax rate of 1.09 percent, Washington ranks No. 23. The rates are based on owner-occupied housing. The Tax Foundation explains,

Today’s map cuts through [the] clutter [of the variations in state property tax policies, credits and exemptions], presenting effective tax rates on owner-occupied housing. This is the average amount of residential property tax actually paid, expressed as a percentage of home value.

The range is surprisingly wide.

New Jersey has the highest effective rate at 2.38% and is followed closely by Illinois (2.32%), New Hampshire (2.15%), and Connecticut (1.98%). On the other end of the spectrum, Hawaii has the lowest effective rate at 0.28%, and is followed closely by Alabama (0.43%), Louisiana (0.51%), and Delaware (0.55%).

Although the TF numbers are for residential property, it’s important to recognize business’s property tax payments. We looked at the business tax dollar in our research report

 OppWA business tax dollar


Property taxes represent about  one-quarter of the business tax burden in Washington.  We wrote,

The effective tax rate (the ratio of state and local business taxes to private-sector gross state product) on Washington businesses was 5.0 percent in FY 2013. Thirty-two other states had a lower effective business tax rate than Washington; the average effective tax rate was 4.7 percent.

For a good primer on property tax policy, it’s hard to beat this 2008 report from the Washington Research Council.