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Higher property taxes could further erode housing affordability

Mortgage Professional America reached out to Hailey Neff of Today’s Homeowner for additional insight. In many parts of the country, those corrected property tax rates have already taken effect, Neff said. She noted researchers arrived at an effective property tax rate by taking the average property tax bill – how much the typical homeowner is paying every year on property taxes and dividing it by the median home sales in each stat. “It’s really the best way for us to compare different cities and states,” she said. 

Colorado has the nation’s highest property tax rates

Bolstered property taxes are especially pronounced in western states, she noted. “We noticed that average property tax bills rose the most in western states, including Colorado, Utah and Washington,” she said. “People in Colorado are paying 40% more in their property taxes than they did in 2016, which is a huge jump. Housing prices in these western states are going through the roof, and, as home prices go up, you’ve got to pay more property taxes on them.”

Other than protesting assessed values to the county tax assessor, Neff said, legislation is seen as the only viable option to help mitigate the hikes. “There’s lots of legislation going on right now,” she said. “I live in Idaho, and in the past legislative session there was a lot of talk about lowering property tax rates. Texas is doing the same.”

Texas proposes a $12 billion property tax relief package

Indeed, in the Lone Star state, property taxes are the seventh-highest in the US, according to The average effective property rate in Texas is 1.60% compared to the national average of 0.09%, according to the site. The typical Texas homeowner pays $3,797 annually in property taxes, according to the site’s property tax calculator. On Thursday, the Texas House passed a $12 billion property tax relief package now headed to the Senate toward final passage, as reported by the Texas Tribune. An owner of a $350,000 home would realize more than $1,000 in savings over the course of two years under the relief bill, the news site reported.

“There seems to be a lot of buzz about what to do about property taxes,” Neff said. “We want home values to stay high, but we also want people to be able to afford them, and property taxes can really make or break affordability for a lot of people.”

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