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What are property taxes?

What are property taxes?  Property taxes make up the bulk of local revenue collected in most school districts, and in 2016-17, school districts collected more than $13 billion in property taxes. Levied on real estate, property taxes accounted for 42% of all school district revenue in 2016-17.
Click on the image link below to view our interactive graph illustrating the statewide property tax ratio—which is the amount of school district property taxes collected each year compared to total school district revenue (which includes all local, state, federal and other revenue) each year.

The amount of property taxes levied by each school district is often directly related to the amount of state and other revenue each school district receives. For example, according to the Independent Fiscal Office’s August 2018 Property Tax Update, the top 25% of school districts (125 school districts) in terms of property tax collections collected more than 55% of the total school district property tax revenue for 2016-17, while the bottom 25% of school districts collected about 10% of the total school district property tax revenue.
Click on the map below to see the property tax ratio for each school district—the amount of school district property taxes collected in 2016-17 compared to each school district’s total revenue for 2016-17. A higher property tax ratio means that the school district is more reliant on property taxes in comparison to other revenues.