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5. Kankakee, Ill.

  • Effective property tax rate: 2.2%
  • Median home value: $165,700
  • Median property taxes paid: $4,117

Illinois comes second to New Jersey for the highest effective property tax rates in the nation at 1.9%. But residents of Kankanee pay a higher premium for homeownership than other Illinoisans, at 2.2%, and homeowners in this small agricultural and manufacturing center have seen home values skyrocket in recent years.

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4. Rockford, Ill.

  • Effective property tax rate: 2.3%
  • Median home value: $149,800
  • Median property taxes paid: $3,581

Rockford, Ill. is situated about 90 miles east of Chicago. The median household income in this small city, which has a population of around 150,000, is $56,746. Unemployment rates are high in Rockford, and yet as in Kankakee, residents have seen property values explode.

3. Syracuse, N.Y.

  • Effective property tax rate: 2.3%
  • Median home value: $164,000
  • Median property taxes paid: $4,188

According to the Census Bureau, the median value of owner-occupied housing units in this snowy, midsize city was $99,200 between 2017 and 2021. Despite rapidly rising home prices, named Syracuse the sixth most affordable city to buy a house in the U.S.

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2. Rochester, N.Y.

  • Effective property tax rate: 2.4%
  • Median home value: $171,000
  • Median property taxes paid: $4,586

Rochester, N.Y., is among those cities boasting the nation’s highest effective property tax rate of 2.4%. In 2023, U.S. News named this location the 26th best place to live in the U.S., stating the cost of living as well below the national average.

1. Trenton-Princeton, N.J.

  • Effective property tax rate: 2.4%
  • Median home value: $311,900
  • Median property taxes paid: $8,070

The municipality of Princeton and city of Trenton are located in New Jersey's Mercer County, in the center of the Garden State. While homeowners pay the same effective property tax rate as in Rochester, the median property value is much higher, according to Construction Coverage.

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About the Author

Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady

Freelance Contributor

Sarah Brady is a (self-)certified money nerd. She's a personal finance writer and speaker who's been helping individuals and entrepreneurs improve their financial wellness since 2013. Sarah has written for Forbes Advisor, USA Today's Blueprint, FORTUNE, Experian, Investopedia and more,

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