Lowest Property Tax in California

When you think of the cost of living in California, you likely think of hefty property taxes and expensive properties. While California offers beautiful scenery, pleasant temperatures, and a diverse population, owning a home is out of reach for many thanks to the high cost of real estate. If you have flexibility, a good choice may be to discover which county has the lowest property tax in California and move there.

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What Is the Effective Property Tax Rate?

While the cost of living in the Golden State can be high, surprisingly, California’s effective property tax rate at only .74 percent is below the national average. New Jersey has the highest effective property tax rate at a whopping 2.13 percent. Illinois follows closely behind at 1.97 percent.

The national average is 1.1 percent of the home’s value.

Even though California has a low effective property tax rate, because property is so expensive overall, homeowners pay thousands, or tens of thousands, of dollars in property tax every year. When you compare the amount of property taxes homeowners in California pay compared to their income, you can see that the property tax burden is a heavy one for many homeowners.

Where Is the Lowest Property Tax in California?

The county with the lowest property tax in California is Modoc County. Situated in the Northeast corner of California, near the Nevada and Oregon state lines, this county has less than 10,000 residents and is the third-least populated county in California.

Lowest Property Tax in California

The main reason this county has the lowest property taxes is that homes are extremely affordable. The median home price in Modoc County is $142,500 (Best Places). Compare this to the median home price in the entire state of California, which is a whopping $818,260 (NY Times). Because housing prices are so much lower in Modoc County, the overall amount paid in property taxes is also lower.

For What Is Modoc County Known?

If moving to Modoc County for the lowest property tax in California intrigues you, you should be a person who enjoys small-town living. Modoc County is known as “the place where the west still lives” (UpStateCA).

The county has ranches and farms as well as a fair amount of federal land. Therefore, the federal government is one of the largest employers in the area. Other residents have settled here from various parts of California and telecommute.

In contrast to much of the rest of California, Modoc County is a conservative area that votes overwhelmingly Republican. In 2013, Modoc County voted to secede from the state of California (UPI).

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for the lowest property tax in California, look no further than Modoc County. In this small county, housing prices are cheap, which makes California’s .74 percent property tax rate more affordable than in most other areas of the state. If you’re conservative and like small-town life, Modoc County may be the perfect location for you. Check out Credit Karma to know more about your credit score. 

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