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The highest property taxes in the US

Massachusetts ranked one of the worst states for property taxes

A new report ranks Massachusetts as one of the worst states in the country when it comes to property taxes. 

The index is designed to help business leaders, taxpayers, and government officials gauge how their states’ tax systems compare to others in terms of how they are structured and can be improved. 

While it wasn’t in the top 10 or bottom 10, the Tax Foundation’s ​​2022 State Business Tax Climate Index ranked Bay State 34th on its list. Wyoming was the best state in the nation, while New Jersey was the worst.

States were compared on more than 120 variables in the five major areas of taxation. Each state’s overall ranking was based on how it ranked in several categories: Corporate tax, individual income tax, sales tax, property tax, and unemployment insurance tax.

Massachusetts did well coming in just outside the top 10 in individual income tax rank (11th) and ranking 12th for sales tax. However, when it comes to corporate taxes, it ranked 36th, and 45th for property taxes, and came in as the worst state in the nation for ​​unemployment insurance tax. 

States in the top 10 of the index shared a common factor – the absence of a major tax. While property and unemployment insurance taxes are collected in all states, several don’t have a corporate income tax, individual income tax, or sales tax, and some only have one of the latter three taxes. 

Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming, which ranked seventh, second, and first respectively, don’t have corporate or individual income taxes. No. 3 ranked Alaska doesn’t have an individual income tax or a state-level sales tax, while No. 4 ranked Florida and No. 8 ranked Tennessee don’t have an individual income tax. Both New Hampshire, which ranked sixth, and Montana, which ranked fifth, do not have a sales tax. 

Source: Boston Real Estate Agent Magazine

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Updated: Boston Real Estate Blog 2022

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The highest property taxes in the US

If you are thinking about moving out-of-state, here’s another data point to consider:

This year, Uncle Sam took his cut of the past year’s earnings on May 17, slightly later than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many taxpayers are undoubtedly wondering how this year’s Tax Day will affect their finances, as a lot of people are struggling financially as a result of the pandemic.

Since the tax code is so complicated and has rules based on individual household characteristics, it’s hard for the average person to tell how they will be impacted.

One simple ratio known as the “tax burden” helps cut through the confusion. Unlike tax rates, which vary widely based on an individual’s circumstances, tax burden measures the proportion of total personal income that residents pay toward state and local taxes. And it isn’t uniform across the U.S., either.

To determine the residents with the biggest tax burdens, WalletHub compared the 50 states across the three tax types of state tax burdens — property taxes, individual income taxes and sales and excise taxes — as a share of total personal income in the state.

Source: WalletHub




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The highest property taxes in the US

As we all know the Boston real estate market prices keep climbing, but so will property tax.

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Homeowners in Massachusetts face some of the largest annual property tax bills of any state in the country. The median annual property tax payment in the state is $4,899. The state’s average effective tax rate of 1.17% is higher than the national average, according to SmartAsset.

The state requires an assessment every year.

[ Census Bureau: 89,000 Mass. tenants have ‘no confidence’ they can pay rent ]

“Properties in Massachusetts do get re-assessed every year,” said Keren Horn who is an Associate Economics Professor at UMass Boston.

And she says lifelong residents will really feel that pinch.

“People who will be surprised or already may have been surprised are the long-term homeowners,” said Horn.

As home prices continue to climb plenty of people are concerned property taxes could soon follow. We asked how long it could take before some people are priced out of their own neighborhoods.

“We are getting priced out. I mean I have to think about moving in the next couple of years,” said Ferragamo.

So, what can residents do?

“Most towns have exemptions for people on fixed incomes,” said Horn.

[ Realtor: 4 things first-time Massachusetts home buyers need to do ]

That’s something to check on in your town. The city of Everett saw this and actually lowered its property tax rate to retain residents.

“They’re very aware that people are struggling they can’t make their payments… so what do they do? They responded by reducing their property tax rate,” said Horn.

But Horn says property tax is something most towns may not want to tinker with and that leaves people like Ferragamo with little choice but to move.

“I’m going to have to do what I have to do. I don’t have a choice. Or I’m going to be working for the rest of my life just to have my house,” said Ferragamo

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CNN Money has a good chart, via the Tax Policy Center, on the highest property taxes by state and by county in the US.

The good news: Massachusetts isn’t No. 1. The bad news: It’s No. 7, as measured by mean dollars paid per housing unit.

Guess which New England state is ranked No. 2? New Hampshire. Sure, they don’t have sales or income taxes in the Granite State. But they do have extremely high property taxes. The average rate in Massachusetts, for instance, is $3,805, while the average in N.H. is $5,230.

Who’s the worst? New York’s Westchester County at $9,647. New York and New Jersey generally seem to have the highest rates by far.

Filed under: Thank goodness for Proposition 2.5

Note: The entire Tax Policy Center study (pdf) can be found here. The screen-capture chart above via CNN Money; click on the first link to get to CNN Money’s


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Boston Real Estate and Boston condos for sale Updated 2021