The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence just came out with their report on the tax rates of the 50 largest cities in America for taxes paid in 2021. I have adjusted the attached chart accordingly.

I had previously warned that El Paso might overtake Detroit for the number one position. Instead, the residential property tax rate in Detroit spiked to 3.27%, Portland barely overtook El Paso for the number two position with a rate of 2.62%, and El Paso’s rate declined slightly to 2.60%. Thus El Paso is now 3rd.

But don’t get too excited. When the rankings are adjusted for assessment limits (see pp. 42-43 of the report), El Paso has the number 1 highest residential property tax rate in America among the 50 largest cities!

El Paso’s commercial property tax rate rose from the 7th to the 3rd position with a 2021 rate of 3.02%, behind Detroit and Chicago.

We will see what happens when our City and County sell hundreds of millions in bonds over the next couple of years, raising our property tax rate significantly.

Obviously, one must keep in mind that the average home value in El Paso is relatively low, and so the total tax burden in terms of dollars is less than for many other major cities, including in Texas.  One most further consider, however, that our wages are relatively low, meaning that high taxes hurt workers harder in El Paso than in most other places.

All things considered, I firmly believe that property tax rates matter, and having one of the highest in the nation will deter both individuals and businesses from investing in our community.

Stop the deficit spending now!