Overview of New York 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 quite low. The average effective property tax rate in New York City is just 0.72%. The statewide average rate is 1.5%.
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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 Tax
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 quite low. The average effective property tax rate in New York City is just 0.72% – less than half the statewide average rate of 1.5%. In fact, in many New York counties (outside of NYC) have rates exceeding 2.5%, double the national average.
Those low rates mean that homeowners in the city often pay less than those in other parts of the state, despite the city’s sky-high real estate values. The typical homeowner in the city pays $3,531 annually, while the statewide average payment is $4,330.
Wherever you’re looking at homes in New York, check out our mortgage guide for information about rates and getting a mortgage in New York.
New York Assessed Values
The property tax system in New York can be confusing, but don’t worry – we’re here to help. It all 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 in many cities and towns, reassessments have not been made in many years.
Since many assessments are not current, each tax area is assigned 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 might 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 district that fund services or projects like libraries or 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. Increase in property taxes are limited in most districts to the lower of 2% or the rate of inflation, however, so rates do not 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 mill rates and the average effective tax rates for every County in New York and for NYC.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
New York City
While many other taxes in NYC are quite high (like sales and income taxes), property taxes in the city are actually very low. The city’s mill rate on residential property is just 8.5 mills. That means the annual tax on a home with a market value of $400,000 would be about $3,400.
However, because of a number of property tax exemptions, many homeowners in New York City pay even lower rates than that. 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 paid. When taking those exemptions into account, effective property tax rates in NYC are often less than 0.8%. In Brooklyn for example (Kings County), the rate is just 0.6%, less than half the state average. In Manhattan (New York County), the rate is 0.8%. In Queens, the rate is 0.75%. The Bronx has the highest effective tax rate in New York City, at 0.83%.
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- to 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 isn’t one of them. The typical Suffolk County homeowner pays $8,151 annually in property taxes. That is in part due to high home values, as the median value in the county is $383,400. Even so, the average effective property tax rate in Suffolk County is 2.13%, well above both the state and national averages.
Nassau County lies just east of New York City on Long Island. The average millage rate in the county is 29.6 mills, which would mean annual taxes of $8,880 on a $300,000 home. However, effective tax rates in the county are actually somewhat lower than that. The average effective tax rate is 2.13%, which means taxes on that same home are likely closer to $6,400 annually.
In absolute terms, Westchester County has the highest property taxes not only in the state of New York, but in the entire country. The typically Westchester County homeowner pays over $10,000 annually in real estate taxes alone. While the county does have very high home values, with a median value of $518,400, it also has high property tax rates. The average millage rate in the county is 28.8 mills.
The average effective property tax rate in Erie County is 2.73%, well above both the state and national averages. More than half of revenue from the tax goes to schools. For example, in Buffalo, the total millage rate is 27.64 (not including any levies for special districts). Of that, the City of Buffalo’s rate is 10.65 mills, the county rate is 6.18 mills, and the Buffalo School District rate is 10.81 mills.
Monroe County sits along Lake Erie in Upstate New York, and contains the state’s second largest city, Rochester. It has the fifth highest property taxes of any county in the state, with average effective rates of 3.07%.
In Rochester, over half of total property taxes go to schools. The Rochester School District millage rate is 20.15. The city of Rochester millage rate is just 8.2, while the Erie County millage rate is 10.05.
The typical homeowner in Onondaga County pays $3,589 annually in property taxes. While that is about the same as taxes in New York City, it is based on much lower home prices. In fact, the average effective tax rate in Onondaga County, which contains the city of Syracuse, is 2.71%. That is three times the effective tax rate in NYC.
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