Overview of Connecticut Taxes
Connecticut homeowners pay among the highest property taxes in the country. The state’s average effective property tax rate (taxes as a percentage of home value) is 2.02%, which ranks as the fourth highest of any state.
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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
Connecticut homeowners pay among the highest property taxes in the country. The state’s average effective property tax rate (taxes as a percentage of home value) is 2.02%, which ranks as the fourth highest of any state. Connecticut is unusual in that counties are not responsible for administering the property tax. Instead, cities and towns set rates and collect property taxes. Below, we will look at the local rates across the state of Connecticut and other important property tax rules.
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 the home’s market value. The homeowner does not pay taxes on market value but on this lower, assessed value. So, for example, if your home is worth $500,000, the assessed value will be $350,000.
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 getting a mortgage in Connecticut before you make the move.
Want to learn more about your mortgage payments? Check out our mortgage calculator.
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 rate.
So, for example, a home with a market value of $500,000, an assessed value of $350,000 and a mill rate of 50 would have annual property taxes of $17,500.
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 1.19%.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
Fairfield County is the most populous county in the state of Connecticut. The major cities include Fairfield, Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk. Property taxes in Fairfield are lower than the state average, although slightly higher than the national average.
Rates vary significantly depending on where you live. For example, in Bridgeport the mill rate is 42.198 while in Norwalk rates are lower than 30 mills. Across all municipalities in the county the average homeowner pays $7,057 annually in property taxes.
While homeowners in Hartford County pay less in absolute terms than those in Fairfield County, they actually face higher rates. The average effective property tax rate across Hartford County is 2.14%, higher than both the state and national average.
In the city of Hartford the mill rate is 74.29 mills. That is higher than in other nearby cities like New Britain. The rate there is 50.50 mills.
New Haven County
Effective property tax rates in New Haven are among the highest in the state of Connecticut. The countywide average effective rate is 2.25%. That means the average New Haven homeowner pays over 2% of his or her home’s value in property taxes every year.
The mill rates in the two largest cities in New Haven County are among the state's highest. In the city of New Haven the rate is 38.68 mills. In Waterbury the rate is even higher at 60.21 mills.
New London County
Located in southeastern Connecticut along the Atlantic 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 1.75%. That is significantly lower than the state average rate of 2.02%.
In Norwich, the county’s largest city, property taxes are higher than in most other parts of the county. The mill rate in Norwich is 40.52 mills for the 2018 fiscal year.
The average homeowner in Litchfield County pays $4,639 in annual property taxes. That is lower than the state average ($5,443), although still well above the national average. Effective property tax rates in Litchfield County are also above the national average. The average effective property tax rate in Litchfield County is 1.86%.
Middlesex County is located in central Connecticut, south of Hartford. The largest city in the county is Middletown, where the city mill rate is 33.9 mills. In addition, fire departments levy property taxes with mill rates ranging from 1.55 to 8.50 mills. Including all municipalities in Middlesex County, the average effective property tax rate is 1.87%.
Tolland County is the second smallest county in Connecticut by population. On average, homeowners in the county pay $5,133 annually in property taxes. Tax rates, which municipalities determine, vary depending on where you live. For example, in Andover the rate is 32.50 mills. In Stafford the rate is slightly higher at 33.93 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. On average, homeowners in Windham pay $3,557 annually in property taxes, well below the state average.
Mill rates in the town of Windham vary depending on what district you are in. In District 1 the total mill rate is 38.53. In District 2 the mill rate is 47.61.
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