NE TN 2020 property tax hikes well under U.S. benchmark

Local governments didn’t pump the brakes on property taxes during the pandemic. But they didn’t hit the accelerator. A new analysis shows $180.5 million in property taxes on single-family homes in NE Tenn. counties.  That’s almost $4 million – a 2.1% increase – more than 2019.

The sunny side of that story is the average local tax bill, and the local effective tax rates are significantly lower than elsewhere. That’s one reason new residents are flocking to Tennessee.

Nationwide property tax increased 4.4%. The effective tax rate was 1.1%, down from 1.14%. The average bill was $3,719, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. Tennessee’s average bill was $1,202. The effective tax rate was 0.59%, down 0.02%.

The effective tax rate is a home’s annual property tax expressed as a percentage of its estimated market value instead of assessed value.

Locally, the average bills ranged from $1,134 in Washington Co. to $435 in Johnson Co. Unicoi was the only NE Tenn. county not included in the study.

“Homeowners across the United States in 2020 got hit with the largest average property tax hike in the last four years, a sign that the cost of running local governments and public-school systems rose well past the rate of inflation. The increase was twice what it was in 2019,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer for ATTOM. “Fortunately for recent home buyers, they have mortgages with super-low interest rates that somewhat contain the cost of homeownership. But the latest tax numbers speak loud and clear about the continuing pressure on both recent and longtime homeowners to support the rising cost of public services.”

Here in NE TN, last year’s 2.1% increase in total property taxes was the highest growth rate in two years. Property values have soared in NE Tennessee since 2016. That’s when the local housing market shifted into high gear. It hasn’t let up since then.

­States with the highest effective property tax rates were New Jersey (2.2%), Illinois (2.18%), Texas (2.15%), Vermont (1.97%), and Connecticut (1.92%).

Tennessee ranked 45th in the nation with a 0.59% effective tax rate. The average tax bill was $1,202, up $76 (6.7%) from 2019.

Here’s a snapshot of what the situation looks like in local counties.

CARTER

  • Total property taxes – $12.6 million, up 2% from 2019.
  • Average tax bill – $633, up $10.
  • Effective tax rate – 0.61%, up 0.01%

GREENE

  • Total property taxes – $16.6 million, up 1.8% from 2019.
  • Average tax bill – $544, up $10.
  • Effective tax rate – 0.48%, down 0.06%

HAWKINS

  • Total property taxes – $16.4 million, up 1.9%
  • Average tax bill – $593, up $14.
  • Effective tax rate – 0.62%, up 0.03%

JOHNSON

  • Total property taxes – $4.7 million, up 2.6%
  • Average tax bill – $435, up $10
  • Effective tax rate – 0.44%, up10%

SULLIVAN

  • Total property taxes – $69.7 million, up 2.4%
  • Average tax bill – $966, up $18
  • Effective tax rate – 0.7%, no change

WASHINGTON

  • Total property taxes – $60.5 million, up 2.1%
  • Average tax bill – $1,134, up $13
  • Effective tax rate – 0.69%, no change

The total estimated value of the 215,695 single-family homes included in the analysis was $28.1 billion.

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Categories: ECONOMY

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