Overview of New York Taxes
Property taxes in New York vary greatly between New York City and the rest of the state. In New York City, property tax rates are actually quite low. The average effective property tax rate in the Big Apple is just 0.90%. The statewide average rate is 1.68%.
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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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New York Property Taxes
Property taxes in the state of New York vary greatly between New York City and the rest of the state. In New York City, property tax rates are actually fairly low. The average effective property tax rate in the Big Apple is just 0.90% – just over half the statewide average rate of 1.68%. In fact, many New York counties (outside of New York City) have rates exceeding 2.50%, which is more than double the national average (1.08%).
Those low rates don't necessarily mean that homeowners in the city pay less than those in other parts of the state, however. Due to the city’s sky-high real estate values, the typical homeowner in the city pays $8,237 annually, while the statewide median payment is $4,915.
If you’re looking at homes in New York, check out our mortgage guide for information about rates and getting a mortgage in New York.
A financial advisor in New York 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.
New York Assessed Values
The property tax system in New York starts with an assessment of your property to determine the market value. That is done by a local official, your city or town assessor. Assessments should happen regularly, but many cities and towns have not made reassessments in many years.
Since many assessments are not current, each tax area is assigned a Residential Assessment Ratio (RAR) that represents the ratio between assessed values and current market values. So, for example, if the market value of your home is $100,000, and your city’s RAR is 54%, your assessed value should be $54,000.
Your RAR doesn’t affect the taxes you actually pay, but it is important to know to ensure that your home is not over-assessed. For example, if your home is worth $150,000, your local RAR is 50%, and your assessed value is $125,000, your home is over-assessed. Your assessed value implies a market value of $250,000, much higher than the true market value of $150,000. In that case, you may want to contest your assessment. Otherwise, you will wind up paying more than your fair share of taxes.
New York Property Tax Rates
Tax rates in New York State are applied to the assessed value of your home. A number of different rates appear on your real estate tax bill, including a rate for your county, your city and your school district. In some areas, there may be additional special rates for tax districts to fund services or projects like libraries and parks.
Rates are recalculated each year based on the total value of real estate in a tax district (the tax base) and the amount of revenue the tax authority needs. Increases in property taxes are limited in most districts to the lower of 2% or the rate of inflation, so rates don’t change much year-to-year. However, that cap can be overridden by a 60% vote of a local government board or the voters in a district.
Real estate tax rates in New York are given in mills, or millage rates. A mill is equal to $1 of tax for every $1,000 in property value. Since these can be a little confusing, it is also useful to look at effective tax rates. These are actual tax amounts paid as a percentage of home value. The table below shows the average effective tax rates for every county in New York and for New York City.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
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New York City
While many other taxes in New York City are quite high (like sales and income taxes), property tax rates in the city are actually pretty low. Because of a number of property tax exemptions, many homeowners in New York City pay even less than the already low rates would suggest. Among the exemptions available are the School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption, the Senior Citizens Homeowners Exemption, the Veterans Exemption and the Disabled Homeowners Exemption.
Those exemptions all serve to lower assessed value and, therefore, the property taxes homeowners pay. When taking those exemptions into account, effective property tax rates in New York City are around 0.90%.
For example, in Brooklyn (Kings County), the rate is just 0.65%, less than half the state average. In Manhattan (New York County), the rate is 0.90%. In Queens, the rate is 0.87%. The Bronx has the highest effective tax rate in New York City, at 0.97%.
It is also worth noting that New York City has a different assessment system than the one described above. The city has four classes of property. Residential, one-family and three-family homes are "class one." The assessment ratio for class one property is 6%. The ratio for other classes of property (commercial and apartment buildings) is 45%. That means that homeowners pay far lower property taxes in New York City than other types of property owners.
There are plenty of reasons to buy a home in Suffolk County, which sits at the eastern end of Long Island – but low property taxes is not one of them. The typical Suffolk County homeowner pays $8,902 annually in property taxes. That is due, in part, to high home values, as the median value in the county is $379,400.
Even so, the average effective property tax rate in Suffolk County is 2.35%, far above both state and national averages.
Nassau County lies just east of New York City on Long Island. The average millage rate in the county is 29.3 mills, which would mean annual taxes of $8,790 on a $300,000 home. However, effective tax rates in the county are actually somewhat lower than that. The average effective tax rate is 2.17%, which means taxes on that same home are likely closer to $6,500 annually.
In dollar terms, Westchester County has some of the highest property taxes not only in the state of New York, but in the entire country. The typical Westchester County homeowner pays more than $10,000 annually in real estate taxes alone. While the county does have very high home values, with a median value of $513,300, it also has high property tax rates. The average millage rate in the county is over 80 mills.
The average effective property tax rate in Erie County is 2.63%, well above both state and national averages. More than half of revenue from property tax goes to schools.
For example, in Buffalo, the total millage rate is 25.81 (not including any levies for special districts). Of that, the city of Buffalo receives 9.553 mills, the county receives 7.331 mills and the Buffalo School District receives 8.933 mills.
If you have questions about how property taxes can affect your overall financial plans, a financial advisor in Buffalo can help you out.
Monroe County sits along Lake Ontario in Upstate New York, and it contains the state’s second largest city in Rochester. At 3.19%, it has the fourth highest average effective property tax rate of any county in the state.
In Rochester, more than half of total property taxes goes to schools. The Rochester School District millage rate is 12.951 mills. The city of Rochester millage rate is just 6.289 mills, while the Monroe County millage rate is 10.646 mills.
The typical homeowner in Onondaga County pays $3,918 annually in property taxes. Although this is around half of what New York City homeowners pay, rates are based on much lower home values. In fact, the average effective tax rate in Onondaga County, which contains the city of Syracuse, is 2.81%, which is triple the effective tax rate in New York City.
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