Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New York Again Leads Way On Property Taxes; NJ Worst Business Climate

Several counties in New York once again lead the way in the highest property tax burdens in the nation. Congratulations. New Jersey isn't far behind, with Hunterdon, Bergen, and Essex Counties following.

The ratings by the Tax Foundation nationwide can be found here.
The top 10 counties in median real estate taxes paid for 2008 are, from 1 to 10, Westchester County, NY ($8,890); Nassau County, NY ($8,628); Hunterdon County, NJ ($8,492); Bergen County, NJ ($8,446); Rockland County, NY ($8,430); Essex County, NJ ($7,924); Somerset County, NJ ($7,743); Morris County, NJ ($7,557); Passaic County, NJ ($7,370); and Putnam County, NY ($7,324). The national median is $1,897.

The top 10 counties in median real estate taxes as a percentage of median home value for 2008 are all from the state of New York, from 1 to 10, Niagara County (2.89%); Monroe County (2.85%); Wayne County (2.82%); Chautauqua County (2.60%); Cayuga County (2.54%); Cattaraugus County (2.52%); Onondaga County (2.51%); Erie County (2.48%); Oswego County (2.42%); and Chemung County (2.38%). The national median is nearly 1 percent (0.96%).

"Among states, the story is much the same as for the top counties: The Northeast area of the country has the highest property taxes, along with pockets elsewhere, such as Wisconsin, Texas, Nebraska, and Illinois," Prante said.

The top 10 states in median real estate taxes paid for 2008 are, from 1 to 10, New Jersey ($6,320); Connecticut ($4,603); New Hampshire ($4,501); New York ($3,622); Rhode Island ($3,534); Massachusetts ($3,406); Illinois ($3,384); Vermont ($3,281); Wisconsin ($2,963); and California ($2,829). The top 10 states for median real estate taxes as a percentage of median home value are Texas (1.76%); New Jersey (1.74%); Nebraska (1.72%); Wisconsin (1.71%); New Hampshire (1.70%); Illinois (1.57%); Vermont (1.53%); Connecticut (1.50%); Michigan (1.45%); and North Dakota (1.41%).
This list from 2007 shows the relative property tax hit nationwide, breaking down the ratings by median tax paid, tax as percentage of home value, and median tax as percentage of income. New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut all are among the tops in each of the categories.

Tax burdens aren't made any easier with unfunded mandates by the federal government and state and local obligations that shouldn't be avoided (say hello to pension obligations that New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine said could be avoided so as to make it look like the budget was balanced and that no new taxes had to be imposed this year). The property tax bite is highest in these localities, even as they are hit with high sales tax burdens and personal income taxes, and a whole range of taxes that make living in the New York metro area exceedingly expensive.

Here's a guide to several of the "sin" taxes imposed nationally, but note that many localities impose their own taxes that piggyback the state tax.

New Jersey also ranks worst in the nation for business climate. That's based on the combination of taxes imposed on taxpayers in the state. I'm sure Jon Corzine will not include that in his commericals, but Chris Christie will.

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