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Black Homeowners Encounter Higher Property Taxes Than White Peers: Study

When it comes to property taxes for Black and white homeowners, a recent study reveals a significant gap in rates.

The study, authored by Carlos Avenancio-León of Indiana of University, Bloomington and Troup Howard of the University of California, Berkeley and published by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, analyzed data covering 118 million homes in the United States and 75,000 jurisdictions that assessed property taxes.

“The inequality we document in taxation is a direct, ongoing, and current source of fiscal headwinds for minority families,” the authors said in a statement. “We estimate an additional burden of $300–$390 per year for the median Black or Hispanic family. Nearly every homeowner in the U.S. faces a property tax, and this large-scale shifting of the tax burden onto minority residents violates the notions of equity embedded in the implicit contracts that residents make with local governments.”

Data showed that while Black-owned homes were assessed at higher values compared to their actual sale price, Black families paid on average 13 percent more in property taxes than white families with similarly valued properties.

Therefore, Black property owners are most likely to pay a disproportionate share of the cost for schools and public services such as fire and police protection.

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