If there’s one thing that most aspiring homeowners don’t look forward to, it’s paying property tax. Property taxes are always going to be an issue, even if you pay your home in full. Depending on where you live, though, it can be a major concern or a total nonissue. Though local towns have their own property tax laws, the real big issue comes with state taxes.
Moving to a state with no property taxes is the ideal solution for many homeowners, not to mention landlords. But, are there states that don’t have a mandatory minimum property tax? If not, which are the better places to move, tax-wise? Here’s the scoop.
Sadly, in the United States, every state has a minimum property tax. However, some states make exemptions for veterans, seniors, and people who have disabilities, so it is possible to pay no property taxes in some states. In fact, virtually all states have special exemptions for veterans who are disabled as a result of their service.
The more difficult exemptions to spot are for retirees and low-income families. If you’re curious about knowing whether or not your state has these kinds of exemptions, check out this list below.
- Alabama: This state offers a full exemption for retirees over 65 when it comes to state property taxes.
- Alaska: Retirees over 65 get a tax exemption for the first $150,000 of their house’s value. Alaska also offers money to people who live here, which may balance out any additional taxes you have.
- Florida: The Sunshine State offers a ton of benefits for retirees, including a property tax exemption.
- Georgia: Some retirees over the age of 65 are offered state property tax exemptions, most of which are considered to be geared towards low-income housing.
- Mississippi: If you are over the age of 65, the first $75,000 of your home’s property value is exempt.
- South Dakota: This state has property tax relief programs geared towards retirees that allow you to delay property tax payments until your house is sold. Low-income households can also get a freeze or reduction in property taxes.
Not over the age of 65, and not part of the military? If you’re looking for a state that has a lower property tax level, you might want to consider moving to one of these states below.
Hawaii is famous for having the lowest property tax rate of all states in the nation, at just a scant 0.29%. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy living here. The average home price is over $620,000, and the average income is only $75,000 per household. This doesn’t include local property taxes, nor does this take into account the notoriously high cost of living.
Even if you aren’t a retiree or a veteran, Alabama makes a case for itself by offering up remarkably low property taxes. The state tax rate here is 0.40%, with an average home value of $140,000. That’s not bad. In fact, it’s very affordable compared to most other states in the union. Living expenses are also lower here, making it an excellent place to live for people on a budget.
Another southern state with a low property tax rate is Louisiana, which has an effective state property tax rate of 0.46%. Considering that the home prices are on par with Alabama’s, it’s easy to see why this state is deemed to be a very affordable place to live. Besides, we hear Mardi Gras is great here!
4. West Virginia
This Appalachian state has a lot to offer in terms of both property taxes and home prices. The average home here costs under $100,000, and the state property tax rate is only 0.53%. This makes it one of the cheapest places to live in America. Fans of camping and taking life easy will enjoy it here, especially since the cost of living is the lowest in the nation.
With its vast stretches of open land, it’s easy to see why Wyoming might want to make a push for homeownership here. This prairie-filled land has a state property tax rate of 0.55%, plus a 4% sales tax rate. The average home price here, though, is higher at $226,000. That being said, it’s money well spent for people who love rural living.
6. South Carolina and Delaware
Tied for the next slot on states with the lowest property tax rates are South Carolina and Delaware. Both of them have an effective state property tax rate of 0.56%. Delaware also has no sales tax and a higher income rate than South Carolina. However, South Carolina has cheaper homes—by as much as $80,000 less on average!
Known for being the heart of the “Green Boom,” Colorado’s tax rates are known for being relatively low compared to other legalized states. The state property tax is no exception here, with the effective rate being only 0.59%. The average home price, though, is around $375,000. So if you move here, be prepared for above-average housing prices.
Kicking off the last two states on this list is Arkansas. A state property tax rate of 0.63% makes annual taxes here very affordable, especially for people who are on a tight budget. The average home price here is $125,000, which makes home prices grossly below average on a national scale.
Rounding out the list of the states with the lowest property tax is Mississippi, which neighbors fellow low-tax states like Louisiana and Alabama. The state property tax rate is only 0.64%---a far cry from New Jersey’s 2.31%. Housing prices and living expense prices here are also reasonably low, with homes costing only $127,000 a pop.
If you love your home state and don’t feel like moving, there may be ways to help reduce your property tax bills. The easiest way to do this is to have an assessor come by and show that your house’s value is lower than what the local authorities say it is.
Reading your tax card is important here, especially if you’re looking to lower your tax bills. If you notice a discrepancy in your tax bill compared to comparable homes in your area, you can also file a tax appeal asking the municipality to reexamine their determination.
Moreover, cities often carry their own local exemptions that can help you decrease your tax bill even further. It’s a good idea to do your research to find out which towns have exemptions you qualify for. Most municipalities will offer exemptions for low-income families, and many provide additional exemptions for disabled people as well.
If you’re worried about state property taxes eating up your income, you’re not alone. Thankfully, some states may be able to offer you no property taxes on your bill if you qualify. If you don’t, then don’t worry. There are plenty of states that offer remarkably low property tax rates—all of them with different benefits and lifestyles that work with others.
The critical thing to take away from all this is that you can learn how to make property tax rates work for you and that you really should look into getting exemptions. Many people qualify for at least one or two exemptions if they would only try to find out what they are eligible for.