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A Reconnaissance of Currently Available Measures of Effective Property Tax Rates

Michael E. Bell and Charlotte Kirschner

Outubro 2008, inglês

In order to have an informed policy discussion on local property tax reform initiatives, researchers, policy makers and the public require accurate and reliable information about the current use of the tax. This paper reviews two popular measures of property tax burden and discusses limitations of those measures. It then focuses on effective property tax rates as a means of gauging the intensity of property tax utilization. Based on a reconnaissance of effective property tax rates, the paper discusses several measures of property tax burdens and effective property tax rates. The paper reports findings of a 50 state survey which investigated the types of effective tax rate information states make available, and how those rates are calculated and reported. Because of different methodologies, the results of these measures vary in terms of both estimates of effective property tax rates and the relative rankings of the states.