“Because of Prop 13, our property taxes are low in California.”
Well, at least that’s the mantra of the MSM and the CA progressives. Facts say otherwise.
According to recent figures graciously provided me by RealtyTrac — a highly respected national firm — the 2014 average CA single-family residence (SFR) property tax is the 8th highest state in the nation. Our average tax is $4,211. The national average is $3,188.
Here’s the link to the average SFR property tax for all 50 states in spreadsheet form, courtesy of RealtyTrac. In addition, another “tab” in the spreadsheet workbook gives the average tax by county across the nation — check out your area.
For more information on RealtyTrac, go to their website:
Texas, which has a much higher property tax RATE than California, has the 9th highest average homeowner property tax — $4,065. That’s because the median home in Texas costs ONE-THIRD the price of the median CA home.
But there’s a problem with the average property tax numbers. The MEDIAN property tax more accuracy reflects the real estate market for most homeowners.
Unfortunately I could not locate a more accurate MEDIAN homeowner property tax comparison for the 50 states — and I looked far and wide. Very expensive homes skew the average tax higher. It appears TX has quite a few more unusually expensive homes than CA — contrary to what most would think.
I WAS able to come up with the median homeowner property tax figures, but not for all the states (methodology below). Here are three figures of particular note:
Median Homeowner Property Tax
Source for the national median homeowner property tax:
Clearly when using the median homeowner property tax, Texas is significantly lower than California. But what I could not glean was how much lower, as a rank among the 50 states. My educated guess is that Texas is ranked four to six states lower than California. The Tax Foundation reached a similar conclusion in its outdated 2009 analysis of median homeowner property taxes.
A much more important figure is comparing CA with the national average. The median CA homeowner property tax is an astonishing 74.3% higher than the national average. When you take California homes out of the national average (with one-eighth of the nation’s population, we skew the national average), the average for the other 49 states is about $1,880. Hence compared to the average of the other 49 states, the CA median homeowner property tax is over 93% higher!
Now, contemplate how much higher California would be without Prop 13. Scary thought.