Overview of Connecticut Taxes
Connecticut homeowners pay some of the highest property taxes in the country. The state’s average effective property tax rate (taxes as a percentage of home value) is 2.07%, which ranks as the fourth highest of any state 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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Connecticut Property Taxes
On a nationwide scale, Connecticut homeowners pay the fourth highest property taxes in the U.S. The state’s average effective property tax rate is 2.07%, which is almost double the 1.08% national average.
Connecticut is unusual in that counties are not responsible for administering property taxes. Instead, cities and towns set rates and collect the taxes.
If you do not yet have a home in Connecticut, but are looking to purchase one, check out our guide to Connecticut mortgage rates and how to get a mortgage there before you make the move.
A financial advisor in Connecticut can help you understand how homeownership fits into your overall financial goals. Financial advisors can also help with investing and financial plans, including taxes, homeownership, retirement and more, to make sure you are preparing for the future.
How Connecticut Property Taxes Work
Cities and towns alone administer all property taxes in the state of Connecticut. While the state does have some oversight of the process, homeowners deal almost entirely with local officials. The local municipality assigns assessors who valuate property to determine its fair market value. By law, this must happen at least once every five years, but assessments can be more frequent than that.
Once a property’s fair market value has been established, the statewide assessment ratio of 70% is applied. This means that a property’s assessed value is equal to 70% of its market value. The homeowner does not pay taxes on market value, but rather on the lower assessed value. For example, if your home is worth $500,000, the assessed value comes out to $350,000.
Connecticut Property Tax Rates
Municipalities in Connecticut apply property taxes in terms of mill rates. A mill rate is equal to $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in assessed value. To calculate your tax based on your mill rate, divide your assessed value by 1,000 and multiply the result by your mill rate.
In turn, a home with a market value of $500,000, and consequently a $350,000 assessed value and a mill rate of 50, would pay $17,500 in annual property taxes.
The table below shows the average effective property tax rates for each of Connecticut’s eight counties. An effective property tax rate is equal to taxes paid as a percentage of home value. The U.S. average effective property tax rate is 1.08%.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
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Fairfield County is the most populous county in the state of Connecticut. Major cities here include Fairfield, Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk. At a 1.73% average effective rate, property taxes in Fairfield County are lower than the 2.07% state average, but higher than the 1.08% national average.
Rates vary significantly depending on where you live. For example, in Bridgeport the mill rate is 54.37 mills, while in Norwalk rates are generally lower than 30 mills. Across all municipalities in the county, homeowners pay a median annual property tax bill of $7,229 - the highest of any county in Connecticut.
If you have questions about how property taxes can affect your overall financial plans, a financial advisor in Stamford can help you out.
While homeowners in Hartford County pay less annually than those in Fairfield County, they actually face higher rates. The average effective property tax rate across Hartford County is 2.22%, which is well above the 2.07% state average.
In the city of Hartford, the mill rate is 74.29 mills. That's higher than many other nearby cities, like New Britain which has a millage rate of 50.50 mills.
New Haven County
Effective property tax rates in New Haven are the highest in the state of Connecticut. The countywide average effective rate is 2.29%. This translates to a median annual property tax payment of $5,594, good for second largest in the state.
The cities of New Haven and Waterbury are two of the most populous metropolises in New Haven County. In each of these cities, the millage rates are 42.98 mills and 60.21 mills, respectively.
New London County
Located in southeastern Connecticut along the East Coast, New London has the second lowest property taxes on average of any Connecticut county. (Although, as mentioned above, municipalities, not counties, administer tax rates in Connecticut).
The average effective property tax rate in New London County is 1.80%. That's significantly lower than the state average rate of 2.07%. Neither of these rates compare favorably to the national average property tax rate, though, which currently stands at 1.08%.
In Norwich, the county’s largest city, property taxes are higher than in most other areas. The millage rate in Norwich is 41.01 mills.
Litchfield County residents pay a median property tax of $4,728 annually. That is lower than the state average ($5,582), although it's still well above the national average ($2,090). Effective property tax rates in Litchfield County are also above the national average, as they currently stand at 1.89%.
Middlesex County is located in central Connecticut, south of Hartford. One of the largest cities in the county is Middletown, where the city millage rate is 34.80 mills. In addition, fire departments levy property taxes with millage rates ranging from 1.55 mills to 8.90 mills. Including all municipalities in Middlesex County, the average effective property tax rate is 1.91%.
Tolland County is the second smallest county in Connecticut by population. Homeowners in the county pay a median property tax bill of $5,266 annually. Tax rates, which municipalities determine, vary depending on where you live. For example, in Andover the rate is 33.95 mills. In Stafford, the rate is slightly higher at 34.26 mills.
If you’re looking for low property tax rates in Connecticut, it might be a good idea to start your search in Windham County. The median property tax payment residents pay annually is $3,628, which is considerably cheaper than the $5,582 state median.
Mill rates in the town of Windham vary depending on what district you live in. In District 1, the total millage rate is 39.41, while District 2 has a 49.60 millage rate.
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 analyzed the math and reading/language arts proficiencies for every school district in the country. We created an average score for each district by looking at the scores for every school in that district, weighting it to account for the number of students in each school. Within each state, we assigned every county a score between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on the average scores of the districts in each county.
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 2017 American Community Survey, Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police or Justice Department websites