How to fight high property taxes

Death and taxes. Benjamin Franklin espoused their certainty, but it’s doubtful even he knew how difficult it would be to avoid the latter – especially property taxes.

No matter where you live in the United States, if you own real estate, you must pay property taxes. According to a recent study by Zillow, a U.S. property owner pays an average of around $2,800, or approximately 1.4 percent of their home’s value each year in property taxes. Of course, that “average” figure indicates some homeowners pay more while others pay less. The counties with the highest averages are Westchester County, NY ($14,829 per year); Essex County, NY ($12,051 per year) and Bergen County, NJ ($11,172 per year).

Do you know how much you pay in property taxes? Look up your home on Zillow – the information is there on your home details page.

Deciphering how property tax rates are set is not easy. There is no single formula used by states and counties to calculate property taxes. In fact, more than 13,500 local governments have the authority to assess property taxes; all states allow local governments to set their own tax rates even though many states place limits on their rates.

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