Sep 14, 2023 - News

How Denver's property tax rates compare to big cities

Data: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; Note: Among the largest cities in each state, plus Washington, D.C.; Aurora, Ill.; and Buffalo, N.Y.; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Property taxes are increasing in Denver after the new assessments.

Yes, but: It could be worse.

Driving the news: Denver sports an effective property tax on a median-valued home that ranks among the lowest in the nation for large cities, according to a report from the nonprofit Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence.

  • The rate is in the bottom half of the national average.

Why it matters: "The data highlighted in the report have important implications for cities, because the property tax is a key part of the package of taxes and public services that affects cities' competitiveness and quality of life," the report notes.

  • Property taxes "are one of the largest sources of revenue for local governments," per the Urban Institute, generating 30% of local revenue — or $581 billion — in 2020, Axios' Jennifer A. Kingson reports.

The big picture: Lower property tax rates usually reflect a combination of reliance on other taxes, including sales and income, to foot the local government's bill.

  • Cities with high property tax rates generally have low home values, which drive up the tax rate needed to raise enough revenue.

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