How California’s property taxes compare with other states’

A home is listed for sale in San Rafael. According to a report from WalletHub, California ranks 17th nationwide for the lowest property taxes in 2015.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Here’s a bright spot in the middle of tax season -- at least Californians, on average, don’t have to pay as much in property taxes as residents of Vermont, Michigan and New Jersey.

With an average tax of $1,431, California came in 17th in a nationwide ranking of property taxes in 2015, according to a report by consumer financial website WalletHub.

Hawaii had the cheapest property taxes with an average of $482; New Jersey was most expensive at $3,971, the website said.

WalletHub calculated each state’s property tax rate by dividing the median real estate tax payment by the median home price.

California’s property taxes are held down by Proposition 13, passed in 1978. The measure caps property taxes at 1% of the assessed value of a home at the time of purchase and prevents taxes from increasing more than 2% a year unless there is a sale or major renovation.


“I would say that Prop. 13 definitely helped California’s ranking here,” said Jill Gonzalez, spokeswoman for WalletHub. “We might have seen it drop more to the middle of the pack without it.”

Politics also seemed to play a role in a state’s ranking. Property taxes were 39% higher on average in blue states than red states, the study found. The website based those designations on how the state voted in the 2012 presidential election.

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