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Good News for Hawai‘i Real Estate: We Pay Less in Property Taxes Than Other States

We love it when we win at anything real-estate related.


For a look at how all the states stack up, check out this infographic. Scroll over a state to learn more.
Source: WalletHub


Well, Hawai‘i is at the bottom of the list again—but this time, in a good way.


Nationally, homeowners pay an average of $2,197 in real estate taxes, according to this WalletHub study. The states with the highest amounts are New Jersey, Illinois, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Wisconsin. Surprisingly, New York, famous for real estate expenses, doesn’t appear on the list until No. 9.


At the other end of the spectrum, Hawai‘i takes last place. Our state pays the lowest amount in property taxes, with an annual average of only $501. (We love it when we win at anything real-estate related.) New Jersey residents pay nearly nine times what we do each year, on average, at $4,437. However, Hawai‘i is one of few states where education is funded by state taxes—largely the general fund—instead of real property taxes, which are levied at the county level. If property taxes were a bit higher and that revenue went to our public schools, we might not be so far behind in the national rankings for public education.


Other facts:

  • More than $14 billion in property taxes go unpaid every year. What happens if you don’t pay your property taxes? The state can foreclose your home and sell it to pay your taxes.

  • Blue states, like ours, in general pay more in property taxes than red states. In blue states, the average annual payment is $2,287, and in red states, it’s $1,924.

  • Nearly one-third of the property taxes in Hawai‘i are paid by nonresident property owners.

  • Hawai‘i’s property taxes make up only 12.2 percent of total taxes collected, much less than the national average of 21.6 percent.  


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Beautiful beaches, year-round summer weather and that iconic aloha spirit are just a few reasons why we’re lucky we live Hawai‘i. It’s no secret that Hawai‘i is one of the healthiest, happiest states in the nation—or that it’s also one of the most expensive. When you pay to stay in paradise, the high cost of living can often be a challenge. The key to living well while living Hawai‘i boils down to one thing: taking charge of your finances. And it’s easier than you think.


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