September 27, 2008

NY has highest property tax – $8422 in some areas! Unlike California!

NY’S PROPERTY-TAX TOPPER – New York Post
New York state has just landed the dubious distinction of having the county with the highest property taxes in the nation, according to a new Census Bureau study released yesterday.

Westchester homeowners paid a whopping median $8,422 in taxes last year, leaping from their previous third-place spot to bump the formerly No. 1 ranked Hunterdon County in New Jersey.

Hunterdon settled in second place for 2007, with an $8,224 median tax bill.

Nassau County, which had been No. 2 in 2006, was left still nipping at Hunterdon’s heels, coming in third with an $8,153 median, according to the review of updated Census data as part of the American Community Survey.

The national property-tax median is a paltry $1,838 by comparison.

Everyone knows that one of the great advantages of living in California, aside from diversity, open minds, smart people, coasts, and great weather is… low property taxes.

And this article proves it!

Have you ever heard of anyone paying $8,224 in property taxes here in California? Oh wait… everyone who buys in the Real Bay Area does.

Well… look who has better schools and services!!! Oh… wait…. Westchester does.

Fine, but do they have great mass transit… or great sports teams… or sushi?

Oh.

Uh.

Do they have great weather and nerds who looooooooooooove to go hiking?

HELLS NO!

Bay Area wins again! Woot!

Comments (10) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:01 am

10 Responses to “NY has highest property tax – $8422 in some areas! Unlike California!”

  1. Robert Says:

    That’s *median* property taxes for Westchester. Although there’s lots of people paying $8,000 or more in property taxes here in the beautiful Santa Clara Valley, I’d guess that the median is going to be less. If you bought thirty years ago, you’re paying hardly anything. If you inherited a house twenty years ago, your property taxes were set to the market value then. All the long term landlords on your street are also paying a pittance.

    I searched around to guess at what the average assessed value is. The best figure I found was from the County Assessor’s 2008-2009 annual report. The report says that this year, the average assessed value of a house in Santa Clara county was around 46% of the average sale price. If the average sale price in the County is around $700K (for a mix of condos and houses, and that’s my guess), that means the average tax bill would be on a house worth $322,000, and the average tax bill would be $6440. That still needs to be increased a bit for the various added taxes, so the average is maybe around $7,000.

    So with that money, something like 45% goes to the schools, with the rest going to the county, the state, the cities, the junior college system, etc.

    Hmmm… that’s not as wildly different as I would have expected from Westchester. Maybe Prop 13’s not strangling us as much as I would have thought.

  2. Robert Says:

    I’ll guess the bigger difference between Westchester and Santa Clara County property taxes will be commercial property taxes (which isn’t mentioned by the NY Post article.) California commercial property taxes follow the same rules as residential; the assessed value can only go up 2% a year max, and the assessed value only gets brought up to market levels when the property changes ownership or when major construction work is done. Change of control isn’t enough if I remember correctly, as there’s lots of ways to structure a deal so that the reassessment isn’t triggered.

    In the Assessor’s report, the three biggest taxpayers in Santa Clara County are PG&E ($21 million), Blackhawk Development ($16 million), and Cisco ($15 million). They also have a chart showing that residential property paid only 50% of property taxes in 1977, but now pays almost 70% of the property taxes.

  3. burbed Says:

    Wow. Thanks for your data and analysis!

  4. burbed Says:

    Could you share out the link to the report you cited?

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  6. nomadic Says:

    Wow, Robert, nice work.

    I’m staggered by this part: They also have a chart showing that residential property paid only 50% of property taxes in 1977, but now pays almost 70% of the property taxes.

    Turnover in residential property must be quite a bit greater than for commericial property, eh? I’m still letting the implications sink in.

  7. anon Says:

    i dun get it.

  8. Robert Says:

    Santa Clara County Office of the Assessor annual reports are here. The numbers I quoted were from the 2008-2009 report.

    http://www.sccassessor.org/portal/site/asr/agencyarticle?path=%2Fv7%2FAssessor%2C%20Office%20of%20the%20%28ELO%29%2FWelcome%20%28Media%20Releases%2C%20Assessor%20Bio%2C%20Organizational%20Chart%2C%20and%20more%29&contentId=e050bb3166b34010VgnVCMP2200049dc4a92____&cpsextcurrchannel=1

    If that link doesn’t go through, go to http://www.sccassessor.org, then select the “Welcome” section, then the section on annual reports.

  9. Robert Says:

    > Turnover in residential property must be quite a bit greater than
    > for commericial property, eh? I’m still letting the implications sink in.

    Yeah… the only thing saving us paying residential property taxes is the need to reassess commercial property taxes when new building gets done. I hope this means that the owners of Valley Fair got reassessed each time they added on to the mall, and that they’re not still paying 1976-era taxes.

    Strange but true: this page

    http://www.democracyctr.org/library/california/prop13.htm

    says that Arco, Southern California Edison, the Southern Pacific railroad, and Standard Oil all were opponents of Proposition 13 even though they were likely to receive much of the benefit of the property tax restrictions…

  10. madhaus Says:

    This is one of my various beefs with Prop 13. Corporations should not be covered by it. There have been numerous deals, big ones, structured to avoid Prop 13 reassment using all kinds of maneuvering. I think Valley Fair might be one of them because it’s changed hands several times but they set up some kind of bizarre partnership/stock deal that stopped it from happening. I may be confusing Valley Fair with another big development but I know this happens all the time.


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