Property Tax disparity

So I’ve been looking at houses because I’m a zillow addict, and also because I’m constantly on the hunt. And I’m fully remote so any thing is possible.

And by golly, what are some of these states doing with their property taxes?

Wisconsin and Texas and Illinois have like 2-3%, are you insane??

Washington, CA, Colorado, and Nevada have like 0.5%-1%

Like on a 1 million dollar condo I’d be paying $2000 a MONTH as opposed to a measly $500 a month. That’s like a triple HOA without the amenities.

No wonder everyone wants to move to WA and CA. Taxation is theft.

The most amazing thing to happen in MA is Prop 2 1/2. Limited property tax increases to 2.5% a year. It was fiscal disaster for awhile as towns had to adjust, but now we have reasonable property taxes, and a lot of MA towns have become pretty good at providing services at lower costs than neighboring states.

I don’t know all the details but one difference is property v income v sales tax. Texas has no income tax. The majority of tax revenue is property tax.

Here is one study (found very quickly) on total tax burden by state. TX is ranked #47.

Is this sarcastic? TX just gained 2 additional seats in the house it is growing so much.


Neither does WA. And WA’s property tax is MUCH lower.

WA has a 6.5% or 7% sales tax though iirc.

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Nope. As a home buyer, this plays significantly into how much my disposable income is monthly.
Double or triple what I would pay on the coast significantly deters me from moving to TX (or Chicago, or Milwaukee)

Your total tax burden impacts how much disposable income you have, not one single tax rate.


the early 80s were rough for sure. i was in jr high and everything was doom and gloom at the schools.

as for having to “adjust” they got really good at passing overrides to the 2.5% increase. perhaps more moderated than if they could just set the tax rate, but those override votes are all the time (or were)

My hometown has past like 1 or 2 overrides in the history of Prop 2.5 – I know some towns have done a lot more.

Yeah, and there’s no real alignment between the different tax rates.

Some of these higher property tax rate states have income tax and sales tax as well. Whereas Nevada has low property tax and no income tax. Seems sus.

Illinois sucks. You don’t want to come here.

Taxes in Illinois are high. People have to pay to fund all the grift that goes into the personal pockets of politicians statewide. Individually (by tax) you may not come to that conclusion, but when you add up all of the taxes, the aggregate is high:

Property taxes are 2-3%. The majority of my property tax funds school districts.

Sales taxes run from 7.5% to something 15% on some things like restaurant bills. Maybe it is even higher on alcohol sales, but that is somewhat hidden in the list prices of booze. Sales taxes can be levied by the state, the town, and the county, and consumers pay all three. It leads to situations where two identical items can be priced differently at two stores across the street from each other if they are in different towns or counties.

Right now, income taxes are a flat 4.95%. We had a referendum a year ago to move that to a progressive scale, but the voters said no.

We have some of the most expensive toll roads in the country.

For the last 15 years, people leave Illinois at the rate of 144 per day. That leaves fewer people to pay those taxes, so the rates go up so more people leave, so the taxes go up. Lather, rinse, repeat. For decades, the state has underfunded pension obligations it owes to state workers, cops, teachers, and judges. 11% of all workers in the state are owed money from one of these underfunded plans.

Yeah, the real estate prices might be a little bit suppressed by more people selling (and leaving) than moving here and buying, but that is not a long term winnable situation for a property owner.


This link breaks it up a bit better Tax Burden by State

It shows total tax burden split by property, income, sales/excise. To go with JSM’s comparison of WA v TX here are the #s

Total Rank State Total Property Income Sales
24 Washington 8.34% 2.65% (31) 0.00% (44) 5.69% (3)
30 Texas 8.19% 3.91% (9) 0.00% (44) 4.28% (9)

So spending habits are paramount given the higher sales tax (burden). Yes, paying the higher property tax may make it feel like your disposable income is larger, but the cost of goods will be higher. In general, seems like wash for these 2 states but of course this estimate is based on “burden” so the denominator is likely average income.


Surely the gambling and legalized prostitution in Nevada helps!!! :money_mouth_face:

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I find the numbers on here a little suspect, at least for the Illinois that I have borne the burden on my whole life. Also, the Big 3 taxes (sales tax, property tax, and income tax) all are based on different measures, that vary from person to person - what you buy, what you own, and what you earn.

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Doesn’t include the burden of living in TX. Just sayin’.


No doubt these are not great for looking at personal tax burdens. Property tax in Texas (and sales tax) are mixtures of both state and local so the actual impact is even more localized than state v state. But they can be useful for general conversation and quick research. My primary purpose was to point out the inherent issues with the analysis from the OP. “I want to move to WA but not TX because of property tax” or “My disposable income will be much less” are not reasonable statements to make if only comparing a single rate.

I should pay attention to my buddy that says “Once you pay for your home in full, then there shouldn’t be a property tax”. Then he gets into a rant about government just printing money. I always kinds go autobot-nod-in-agreement mode when he talks like that.

The problem with this set up is that the basis against which the Property and Sales taxes are applied are not the same; so I don’t think their sum is an appropriate aggregation for comparisons.


Yeah, shelling out 25k a year on a 1 million dollar house is a lot. How much are you buying to save in sales tax to compensate for the extra 15k in property tax a year?

Aren’t you the one who says if you don’t spend it, it was never yours? So the rest of your annual income not devoted to purchasing your home?