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West Virginia is the #8 state with the lowest property taxes

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January 14, 2022
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This story originally appeared on Roofstock and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

West Virginia is the #8 state with the lowest property taxes

Ask any homeowner about expenses and they’ll tell you: If you’re a first-time buyer, you need to carefully calculate the total cost of owning a home before taking the plunge into homeownership.

Owning a home comes with dozens of additional costs, from mortgage payments and interest to upkeep, renovations, and household utility bills. It doesn’t take long before expenses add up—especially when they come on top of potential property tax costs.

To determine which states offer the lowest in property taxes, Roofstock analyzed 2021 data from Wallethub and the U.S. Census Bureau. Costs were then determined for real estate property tax rates, median real estate tax payments, and median home prices for every state and Washington D.C. These amounts were then contextualized with what first-time homebuyers need to know about property taxes.

West Virginia by the numbers

- Effective real estate tax rate: 0.58%
- Annual taxes on $217.5k home: $1,269
- West Virginia's median home value: $119,600
- Annual taxes on West Virginia's median home: $698

The median home value in West Virginia is pretty low compared to the rest of the nation, which helps to keep the effective real estate tax rate low in this state.

While the low median home value in West Virginia helps, it’s certainly not the only thing that drives the low tax rate in this state. The fact that the assessed value of a home is equal to 60% of that appraised value in Virginia also helps, as taxes are paid on the assessed value, not the appraised value. What that means is this: If your home is appraised at $100,000 in West Virginia, you’ll pay taxes on just $60,000 in assessed value. Plus, homeowners must be notified if the assessed value of their home increases by more than $1,000 or 10% in a given year, which gives them time to appeal the valuation and cut down on the tax bill they’re paying. Those factors, coupled with the low standard for tax rates in West Virginia counties, mean homeowners in the state of West Virginia pay about half of the national average in property taxes.

In some states, the high cost of property taxes can cause a home with an otherwise affordable price tag to be well out of someone’s price range. In others, the low cost of property taxes could give you a little more wiggle room in your budget—which is never a bad thing.

If the idea of weighing the estimated costs of property taxes seems overwhelming to you, start by looking at the states with the lowest property taxes listed below. The national list is reverse-ordered by effective real estate tax rate, with Hawaii as the state with the lowest property taxes, though the results would look different if it was ordered by the taxes on the state's median home. Whether you're looking for a dream home or next big investment, owning a home comes with several additional costs, property taxes being one of them.

States with the lowest property taxes

#1. Hawaii: 0.28% effective real estate tax rate
#2. Alabama: 0.41% effective real estate tax rate
#3. Colorado: 0.51% effective real estate tax rate
#4. Louisiana: 0.55% effective real estate tax rate
#5. Washington, D.C.: 0.56% effective real estate tax rate

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