Monroe County is #1!!!
Monroe County leads nation in property tax burden
Jill Terreri ? Democrat & Chronicle Staff writer ? September 29, 2010
This year, Monroe County's No. 1.
The Tax Foundation has found that Monroe County residents pay the highest property taxes across the country when compared to home value, second to none, based on 2009 census data.
Last year, the Tax Foundation put Monroe County in second place, behind Niagara County, when median real estate taxes are calculated as a percentage of median home values.
The median home value in Monroe County is $134,500 and property taxes are 2.89 percent of that value ? $3,891.
The top 10 counties in this category were all in New York, except for Camden County, N.J., which ranked eighth.
Property tax bills are comprised not just of taxes the county collects, but also taxes collected by municipalities and school districts. Generally, in New York outside of New York City, school taxes comprise about 60 percent of the bill; town, village and special district taxes comprise about 20 percent; and county taxes comprise about 20 percent.
"This report confirms what we know, that property taxes in New York state are out of control," said county Director of Communications Noah Lebowitz. "This report indicates that we need serious real reform in Albany ... to address unfunded mandates, which are the root cause of high property taxes in New York state."
The Tax Foundation also ranked counties in which residents have the highest median property tax bills, and the top counties are all in New York City suburbs or in New Jersey. Monroehttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/mag-glass_10x10.gif County placed 71st on that list.
Bill Ahern, director of policy and communications at the Tax Foundation, said if New York wasn't also encumbered by high sales and income taxes, the high property taxes wouldn't be as much of an issue.
"It's a very high rate of property taxes you are paying," he said. "If you were being very forgiving in your other tax areas, we would say don't worry about it, but you're not."
The Tax Foundation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization created in 1937 that monitors fiscal policy at the federal, state and local levels. Property taxes have become a top issue in the race for governor.
Democrat Andrew Cuomo has proposed a cap on school and local government property taxes of 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower, while Republican Carl Paladino has said a cap does not do enough, that taxes must be cut.
The report ranked 792 counties with populations of more than 65,000.