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1 Gerald Prante & Mark Robyn, New Census Data on Property Taxes on Homeowners 1 (2008)

handle is hein.taxfoundation/ffbfhxz0001 and id is 1 raw text is: FOUNDATION
December 2008
No. 157

FISCAL
FACT

New Census Data on Property Taxes on
Homeowners
By Gerald Prante and Mark Robyn
Beginning in 2008, the Census Bureau is releasing three-year estimates of data for smaller
communities, including data on homeowners' property taxes.
Earlier this decade, the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) program began
releasing annual estimates pertaining to demographics, housing and income for communities
whose population exceeded 250,000. The Tax Foundation used this data to compare property
taxation in all of the nation's large communities. The survey later expanded to include more
places, using 65,000 as the minimum population, enabling the Tax Foundation to show how
real estate taxes compare across many more counties.
And starting this year, the Census will also publish data about smaller communities, those
with populations between 20,000 and 65,000. The data will be presented as a three-year
average, not a separate set of data for each year, so the Tax Foundation will compare them
separately. 1, 2 The ACS continues to provide annual estimates of hundreds of variables for
places with populations greater than 65,000, and the Tax Foundation will continue to use that
series to compare property taxes.
The Tax Foundation has long published historical data on property tax collections compiled
by the Census Bureau's Government Finances division. However, such data includes not only
taxes paid by individual homeowners, but also property taxes paid by businesses, as well as
some special types of property pertaining to minerals or fuels found mostly in a handful of
states, such as Texas, Wyoming and Alaska. When people want to know where property taxes
are the highest, though, they typically wonder about property taxes levied specifically on
homeowners. This is where the ACS data is useful.

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