Alabama Counties with the Largest Property Tax Payments in 2018

Alabama Counties with the Largest Property Tax Payments in 2018

Topics: Research, Residential Real Estate

Markets: Athens (Limestone County), Baldwin County - All, Baldwin County - Condo Only, Birmingham Metro, Calhoun County, Cherokee County

Although Alabamians pay their property taxes in October, taxes are on everyone’s mind as federal and state income tax returns are due in April. With that in mind, let’s take a look at closer look at property taxes in Alabama to see how we compare to other states and how the counties compare to one another.  

It comes as no surprise that property taxes are relatively low in Alabama when compared to the rest of the nation. The average property owner in the United States paid $3,498 in property taxes in 2018, up 2.9 percent from 2017’s average of $3,399. While average payments went up nationwide, the average effective tax rate dropped slightly from 1.17 percent in 2017 to 1.16 percent in 2018. The average homeowner in Alabama’s metro areas* paid $838 in property taxes in 2018, an increase of 3.3 percent from 2017’s average of $811. On average, homeowners in Alabama payed an effective property tax rate of 0.48 percent in 2018, the second lowest in the nation behind Hawaii (0.37 percent). Other states rounding out the top 5 lowest effective property tax rates were Colorado (0.51 percent), Nevada (0.57 percent) and Utah (0.57 percent).

Within Alabama, however, there is a surprising amount of variation within the state when you takes a closer look at each county’s average annual property tax payment and effective tax rates.  

 

Top 10 Counties* with the Largest Average Residential Property Tax Payments in 2018

 

10. Limestone County - With a total of 27,305 single family homes and owners paying an average of $643 each in property taxes, Limestone County had the tenth largest property tax payment in 2018. Residents pay a low effective property tax rate of 0.36 percent, and the average estimated value for a single family home in the county is $178,605. Thanks in part to a strong new construction market fueled by an expanding regional economy, total single family homes in Limestone County increased 24.4 percent from 21,946 in 2017 to 27,305 in 2018.    

 

9. Mobile County - With a total of 148,064 single family homes and owners paying an average of $690 each in property taxes, Mobile County comes in at number 9. Residents pay an effective property tax rate of 0.59 percent, down slightly from 0.60 percent in 2017. The average estimated value for a single family home in Mobile County was $116,605, a 1.9 percent gain from 2017. Mobile County is second only to Jefferson County (239,293) in terms of single family housing units, while the area is well ahead of third place Madison County (110,046).

 

8. Russell County - With a total of 16,792 single family homes and owners paying an average of $699 each in property taxes, Russell County ranks 8th. Residents pay an effective tax rate of 0.52 percent, just above the statewide average of 0.48 percent. The average estimated value of a single family home in Russell County increased 7.6 percent from $125,447 in 2017 to $135,022 in 2018. A part of the Columbus, GA metropolitan area, Russell County residents enjoy a much lower effective property tax rate than their neighbors across the Chattahoochee River. Property owners in Muscogee County, GA payed an effective tax rate of 1.17 percent in 2018 and an average property tax payment of $1,502. Even though average estimated value is 5.5 percent higher in Russell County, AL, property tax payments more than double when one crosses the river into Muscogee County, GA.

 

7. Tallapoosa County - With a total of 15,298 single family homes and owners paying an average of $801 each in property taxes, Tallapoosa County is somewhat of a surprise at 7th.  While the effective tax rate of 0.33 percent is well below the statewide average of 0.48 percent, the average market value of a single family home in Tallapoosa County is $245,569. This is the third highest in the state behind Shelby County ($259,774) Baldwin County ($261,264), mainly due to expensive waterfront homes on nearby Lake Martin.  

 

6. Tuscaloosa County - With a total of 44,482 single family homes and owners paying an average of $806 each in property taxes, Tuscaloosa County ranks 6th. Residents pay an effective tax rate of 0.43, down from 0.44 percent in 2017. However, average property tax payments in the county increased 10.1 percent year-over-year, mainly due to rising home values. Average assessed value increased 11.8 percent from $167,814 in 2017 to $187,577 in 2018.

 

5. Baldwin County - With a total of 72,121 single family homes and owners paying an average of $922 each in property taxes, Baldwin County is no surprise at 5th overall. While residents pay a relatively low effective tax rate of 0.35 percent, the average market value in the county is $261,264, the highest in the state. Home price appreciation in the county continues its upward trajectory, increasing 8.5 percent from 2017. As a result, property tax payments are also on the rise, increasing 6.5 percent from one year ago.

 

4. Madison County - With a total of 110,046 single family homes and owners paying an average of $940 each in property taxes, Madison County ranks 4th. While the effective tax rate of 0.49 is just above the statewide average, it is significantly higher than neighboring Limestone County (0.36 percent). Additionally, neighboring Jackson County had the lowest effective tax rate (0.24 percent) among Alabama counties within metropolitan areas. Similar to Tuscaloosa and Baldwin Counties, average estimated values in Madison County are also on the rise as they increased 6 percent from $181,749 in 2017 to $192,682 in 2018.

 

3. Lee County - With a total of 34,115 single family homes and owners paying an average of $1,092 each in property taxes, Lee County comes in 3rd. Residents pay an average effective tax rate of 0.51 percent and the average market value is $212,576. While the tax rate decreased from 0.54 percent in 2017 to 0.51 percent in 2018, average market value increased 9.1 percent during the same period. The net difference for taxpayers, however, was minimal as the average tax payment increased $43 from 2017 to 2018.

 

2. Shelby County - With a total of 59,686 single family homes and owners paying an average of $1,387 each in property taxes, Shelby County is no surprise at number 2. Home to the highest average market value in the state at $259,774, residents pay an effective tax rate of 0.53 percent. It was surprising, however, to see the county’s total number of single family homes increase only 0.4 percent from 2017, especially when one considers the county’s historically strong new construction market.

 

1. Jefferson County - With a total of 239,293 single family homes and owners paying an average of $1,460 each in property taxes, Jefferson County ranks 1st in the state in highest average annual property tax payments. Although the county’s average estimated value is $181,277, the effective property tax rate of 0.81 percent is significantly above the statewide average. It is also worth noting that property taxes will vary widely within the county’s 34 municipalities.         


 

Top 10 counties* with the Highest Effective Property Tax Rates in 2018

10. Morgan County - 0.48 percent

9. Madison County - 0.49 percent

7. (tie) Lauderdale and Chambers Counties - 0.50 percent

6. Lee County - 0.51 percent

5. Russell County - 0.52 percent

4. Shelby County - 0.53 percent

3. Calhoun County - 0.54 percent

2. Mobile County - 0.59 percent

1. Jefferson County - 0.81 percent


 

Top 10 Counties* with the Lowest Effective Property Tax Rates in 2018

10. (tie) Talladega and Baldwin Counties - 0.35 percent

7. (tie) DeKalb, Houston, Elmore, Tallapoosa Counties - 0.33 percent

6. Autauga County - 0.30 percent

5. Blount County - 0.29 percent

4. St. Clair County - 0.28 percent

3. Walker County - 0.26 percent

2. Cullman County - 0.25 percent

1. Jackson County - 0.24 percent


 

Top 10 Counties* with the Lowest Average Property Tax Payments in 2018

10. Jackson County - $501

9. Houston County - $485

8. Talladega County - $483

5. (tie) Cullman, Dale, Escambia Counties - $474

4. DeKalb County - $450

3. Covington County - $386

2. Walker County - $353

1. Dallas County - $327
 

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Historical Data: 2016 and 2017 property tax data for all Alabama counties
*2018 data is available only for counties within Alabama’s 12 metropolitan areas

 

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