Residents of Connecticut live in one of the most expensive states in the country. One contributor to the high cost of living in the state is its high taxes. Homeowners in the state pay property taxes that rank among the most expensive in the nation.

Average Property Taxes in Connecticut

As of 2016, Connecticut has an average effective tax rate of 1.83%, which ranks the state as the eighth most expensive in the nation. Cities and municipalities administer property tax collection in the state, although the state oversees the process. Each city or local government assigns a tax assessor to determine the fair market value of properties within its jurisdiction. Connecticut law requires that tax assessors value properties at least once every five years, but some cities and local authorities conduct assessments more frequently.

Connecticut's eight counties have average effective property tax rates that range between 1.56 and 2.01%. New Haven County has the highest average effective rate at 2.01%, while Hartford County is second-highest at 1.98%. The lowest average effective rate belongs to New London County with a rate of 1.56%, while Fairfield County is second-lowest at 1.57%. Norwich, which is the largest city in New London, has property tax rates that are among the highest in the county.

Despite having an average effective rate below the state average, Fairfield County has the highest median annual property tax payment in the state at $6,769. Fairfield County's median home value of $432,100 is the highest in the state. New Haven County has the second-highest median annual property tax payment at $5,164, while residents of Windham County pay the lowest amount at a median of $3,391. Windham County has the lowest median home value in the state at $211,100.

Comparing Neighboring States

Connecticut's neighbors have lower property tax rates than Connecticut. In New York, located to the west of Connecticut, property taxes vary greatly by location. New York City property taxes are very low, with an average effective rate of 0.72%. The statewide average effective rate is 1.5%, which is lower than Connecticut's average rate. Residents of Massachusetts, north of Connecticut, pay a high median annual property tax payment of $3,794, which ranks the state at seventh nationally. However, the state's average effective rate of 1.15% is slightly below the national average of 1.19%. Rhode Island, located to the east of Connecticut, has an average effective property tax rate of 1.55%, which is lower than Connecticut but higher than the national average.

Calculating Property Taxes

Connecticut has a statewide assessment ratio of 70%. Once the local tax assessor determines market value, the state applies this ratio to determine the assessed value for the property. Each local jurisdiction then applies its own millage rate to the assessed value to determine the amount of taxes due. A millage rate is the dollar amount of taxes for each $1,000 in assessed value. The municipality or local government multiplies its millage rate by the assessed value to calculate the amount of property taxes due.

As an example, a residence with a $250,000 market value has an assessed value of $175,000 ($250,000 times 70%). If the local taxing authority has a millage rate of 20, then the total property taxes due is equal to 175 times 20, which comes to $3,500.

The state of Connecticut's Office of Policy and Management has oversight authority of the property tax administration. The agency compiles a grand list on its website that shows the millage rates that each individual municipality used to determine property taxes in fiscal year 2015-2016. Local municipalities sent their most recent property tax bills in July 2015.

Maine Property Tax Guide

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