Unfunded pension liabilities, or the gap between what state and local pensions owe versus what they have, will continue to put pressure on homeowners. Property taxes are the only real tax lever local officials have. And not all property taxes are created equal.
The median property tax paid per home in 2009 in New Jersey was 27 times higher than in Louisiana, according to creditsesame.com. The interactive graphic also shows taxes as a percentage of income and as a percentage of home values to provide a rough comparison between the states. The reason it’s only a rough comparison is that, as one reader comments:
Interesting graphic. But you need to remind readers this is just a state average. My upstate NY taxes are 2x the NY average in your graphic. And an even greater chunk of my (below median) income. Ouch!
In the interactive graphic, states that are colored red are the ones in which it is most expensive to own property. Nine states are colored red. Five of them are in New England, making the region less competitive with others around the country. And with pension reform looming, officials may find themselves out of luck if residents resist more property tax increases—because it’s certainly possible to find better values elsewhere.