Overview of Arkansas Taxes
Property taxes in Arkansas are lower than in most of the rest of the country. In fact, in 68 of the state’s 75 counties, annual taxes are lower than $800 on average. The statewide average effective property tax rate is just 0.63%, ninth lowest in the U.S.
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To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.
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Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
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Arkansas Property Taxes
In the state of Arkansas, residential property is taxed at the state, county, city and school district level. Taxes are based off of the property’s appraised value (market value). Property taxes in Arkansas are lower than in most of the rest of the country. In fact, in 68 of the state’s 75 counties, annual taxes are lower than $800 on average. The statewide average effective property tax rate is just 0.63%, ninth lowest in the U.S.
Not having to worry too much about the difference in property taxes from county to county can help relieve some of the stress that comes with purchasing a property. Our Arkansas mortgage guide can also help you feel a little better about the homebuying process by breaking down information about mortgage rates and other details in the Natural State.
How Property Taxes Work in Arkansas
Property in Arkansas is regularly appraised by professional appraisers designated by the state. The appraised value is equal to the market value, which is the price of the house if sold on the open market. Tax rates, however, do not apply to appraised value, rather to assessed value.
Assessed value is equal to 20% of the appraised value. So, for example, a home that has a market value of $100,000 would have an assessed value of $20,000. Tax rates only apply to that $20,000.
One important note about assessed value in Arkansas is that it cannot increase by more than 5% in any one year. So even if the market value (appraised value) doubles, the assessed value (and therefore the taxes you actually have to pay) will only increase by 5%.
Want to learn more about your mortgage payments? Check out our mortgage calculator.
Property Tax Rates in Arkansas
Tax rates in Arkansas are applied in terms of mills. A mill is equal to 1/1,000, or one tenth of a percent. So if your tax rate is 30 mills and your assessed value is $20,000, your property tax bill would be $600. That’s $20,000 x (30/1,000). The millage rates in Arkansas vary depending on county, city and school district.
Another way of looking at property taxes is the average effective rate. This is the average annual property tax payment (the amount actually paid) divided by the average property value. The table below shows average effective property tax rates, as well as average property tax payments and home values, for every county in Arkansas.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
The most populous county in Arkansas, Pulaski County also has the second highest property taxes. The average homeowner in Pulaski County pays $1,154 per year in property taxes, or an effective property tax rate of 0.80%. That is higher than any other Arkansas county, but below the national average.
The average millage rate in Pulaski County is 58.91. The highest rate is 70 mills in Little Rock, and the lowest rate is 50.5 mills in the East End school district. Across the county, school district rates range from 40.4 mills to 48.3, accounting for the majority of total property taxes.
Benton County, in the northwest corner of the state, encompasses the cities of Bentonville, Rogers and parts of Springdale. The average millage rate in Benton County is 54.21. Rates are highest in the Bentonville school district. For example, in portions of the city of Springdale that overlap with the Bentonville school district, the total rate is 62 mills. On average, homeowners in Benton County pay $1,171 in property taxes every year. That is the highest average annual payment in the state.
The average home value in Washington County is just under $160,000 and the average homeowner pays $1,109 in property taxes annually. That’s good for an effective property tax rate of about 0.70%, fourth highest in the state.
Actual rates (which apply to assessed value) range from 45.5 mills in rural Greenland School District to 57.45 mills in parts of Fayetteville School District that overlap with the cities of Elkins, Farmington and Johnson. The millage rate just for the city of Fayetteville is 6.8 mills, one of the state's highest city rates.
Sebastian County sits on the Arkansas River, along the state border with Oklahoma. Average property tax payments in the county are just $758 per year, about a third the national average of $2,197. You can find the highest rates in the county in the city of Fort Smith in the Greenwood School District. The rate there is 56.6 mills. The countywide average millage rate is 51.23.
Faulkner County is the fifth most populous county in Arkansas, but its average effective property tax rate of 0.64% ranks as just the 23rd highest in the state. Actual tax rates, which are based on assessed values, average 49.84 mills. The vast majority of that goes to support local schools – the average school district millage in the county is 39.72.
Saline County sits between Little Rock and Hot Springs in Central Arkansas. Rates in the county depend on the city and the school district in which your house is located. Including all city, county and school district taxes, the average rate is 50.59 mills (5.06%). This rate applies to assessed value, however, which is just 20% of market value. For that reason, the actual amount of property taxes paid in Saline County are much lower. The county’s average effective property tax rate, or the annual taxes as a percentage of market value, is just 0.70%.
If you want low property taxes, Craighead County might be a good place to move. The average homeowner in Craighead County pays just $735 annually in property taxes. The countywide property tax rate is just 8.1 mills. In addition, cities in Craighead have rates ranging from 1.25 mills in Brookland to 3 mills in Jonesboro. Total school district rates average 38.72 mills. In total, the highest millage rate in the county is in the City of Jonesboro in the Valley View School District. The total property tax rate there is 51.6 mills.
The average effective property tax rate in Garland County is 0.54%. That is less than half the national average. It means that if your home’s market value is $100,000 you can expect to pay about $540 annually in property taxes.
Note, however, that this will vary depending on the location of your home. In the Mount Ida School District, the total tax rate is just 37.6 mills. In Lonsdale, which is part of the Benton School District, the rate is 47.1 mills.
Property taxes in White County are significantly lower than in most of the country. The typical homeowner pays just $565 a year in residential property taxes. That is based on an average millage rate in the county of 43.01 mills. In Searcy, the county seat, the rate is 40.6 mills. The highest rate in the county can be found in the city of Pangburn. The rate there is 48.1 mills.
Jefferson County, which is named after Thomas Jefferson, is the tenth most populous county in the state of Arkansas. The average annual property tax payment in the county is just $507, 34th highest in the state. The average millage rate is 52.55 mills, slightly higher than the state average of 47.04.
Property Tax: Which Counties are Getting the Best Bang for Their Buck
SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places across the country where property tax dollars are being spent most effectively. Zoom between states and the national map to see the counties getting the biggest bang for their property tax buck.
Our study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most for their property tax dollars. To do this we looked at school rankings, crime rates and property taxes for every county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we calculated the average math and reading/language arts proficiencies for all the school districts in the country. Within each state, these schools were then ranked between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on those average scores.
For each county, we calculated the violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents.
Using the school and crime numbers, we calculated a community score. This is the ratio of the school rank to the combined crime rate per 100,000 residents.
We used the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax collected for each county.
Finally, we calculated a tax value by creating a ratio of the community score to the per capita property tax paid. This shows us the counties in the country where people are getting the most bang for their buck, or where their property tax dollars are going the furthest.
Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 American Community Survey, Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police or Justice Department websites