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Who Pays America's Highest (and Lowest) Property Taxes?

Property taxes hit homeowners harder than the national average in some East Coast counties. Here's a look at the top - and the bottom.
/ Source: Zillow

The second biggest cost of home ownership — following the mortgage — is usually property taxes. In 2012, U.S. homeowners paid an average of about $2,800 in property taxes, according to a recent Zillow study. And if you live in New York, New Jersey or Colorado your taxes were in some cases five times more than the national average. The numbers are based on an average of real estate taxes paid on single family housing in 2012.

The residents of Westchester County in New York pay more in property taxes than the typical resident of any other major American county. The average property tax bill for a single family home in Westchester County comes to $14,829 a year.

Want to know how your county stacks up against the rest of the country? Check out the rankings below.

Editor's note: This graphic has been updated to correct Essex County’s location to New Jersey.Zillow

Adjusting for the average cost of single-family homes in each county, homeowners in Allegany County, N.Y., win the award for the highest property tax burden. The average tax obligation of $2,549 in Allegany County amounts to 3.8 percent of the average single family home value; in Westchester County, the average tax obligation is slightly lower, at 2.5 percent of the county’s average home value. Nationally, the typical homeowner is spending approximately 1.4 percent of their home’s value on annual property taxes. See the full rankings below.

Highest Property Taxes as a Percent of Home Value

  1. Allegany County, N.Y. (3.76%)
  2. Milwaukee County, Wis. (3.68%)
  3. Kendall County, Ill. (3.57%)
  4. Sullivan County, N.Y. (3.56%)
  5. Orleans County, N.Y. (3.49%)

Lowest Property Taxes as a Percent of Home Value

  1. Caroline County, Va. (0.17%)
  2. Catahoula County, La., and Randolph, Ark. (0.2%)
  3. Iberville County, La., and Cumberland County, Tenn. (0.21%)
  4. Butler County, Pa., and Maui County, Hawaii (0.22%)
  5. Elmore County, Ala., and De Soto County, La. (0.23%)

-Camille Salama, Zillow

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