Property Tax Fairness

From the Center for Municipal Finance
Interactive ReportsRelated Research
Property taxes represent the single largest source of own-source revenue for America’s local governments. Cities, counties, school districts, and special districts raise roughly $500 billion per year in property taxes, roughly 70 percent of local taxes. Whether residents rent or own, property taxes impact everyone.

In many cities, however, property taxes are also inequitable: low-value properties face higher tax assessments, relative to their actual market values, than do high-value properties. This tax regressivity disproportionately burdens lower-income residents.

To better understand these issues the Center for Municipal finance has reviewed millions of sales records for properties throughout the country. This site presents the results of these evaluations. 

Property Tax Project Featured in the NY Times

How Lower-Income Americans Get Cheated on Property Taxes

Homes in poor neighborhoods are taxed at roughly twice the rate of those in rich areas, study shows

The methods cities use to assess property values skew the final effective tax rates dramatically, according to a review of 26 million home sales.

The Property Tax Project in Business Week

A Business Week article based on our work highlights racial disparities in assessment. Features commentary by Professor Berry

Professor Berry in Detroit Evening News – Jan 21st, 2021

Professor Berry in Detroit Evening News - Jan 21st 2021 The University of Chicago Center for Municipal Finance believes the city’s assessment process is weighted against homes under $28,000. “Most low priced homes are still being assessed well in excess of their...