• PropTech company Ownwell analyzed public National County Assessor data to determine findings; data indicates inequitable assessments result in wealthy homeowners effectively receiving a significant property tax break
  • Owners of lower-assessed value homes pay 58% more as a percentage of total real estate value than the highest-value homes; homeowners who own more valuable real estate also are more likely to appeal their property taxes
  • Ownwell data highlights property tax disparity affecting property owners nationwide

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#dataOwnwell, the leading online solution to help commercial and residential property owners reduce their property taxes, today announced a consumer alert highlighting data that indicates a significant disparity in effective tax rates among higher and lower assessed value properties.

U.S. homeowners looking to determine if they are overpaying annual property tax can click here to initiate an immediate tax assessment by Ownwell.

The research by Ownwell found a striking difference in the effective tax rate between the top and bottom percentiles in nearly every state. Across the nation, properties in the top 5% of market value have an effective property tax rate of 1.23%, while the lowest-valued 25% of real estate have an effective tax rate of 1.95%. When these tax rate disparities are translated into real-world numbers: lower-assessed value homes — and their respective homeowners across the United States — pay 58% more as a percentage of total real estate value than the highest-value homes.

“The property tax process should be an even playing field, where everyone has access to the same tools and information,” said Colton Pace, co-founder and CEO of Ownwell. “We believe we can close that gap through a combination of cutting-edge technology and local in-person tax experts.”

Data analysis was performed on both public National County Assessor data as well as more than 10,000 Ownwell customers across the country. The key finding indicates that owners of more valuable real estate are more likely to appeal their property taxes. Appealing your property taxes can ensure you are not paying more than your fair share in property taxes.

Consequently, Ownwell found that because owners of less valuable properties are less likely to appeal, they are more likely to overpay their property taxes.

A handful of states — Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and to some extent, Virginia — went against the trend. In those states, the lower-valued properties paid a lower percentage of tax on average. This can be attributed to state-specific tax laws and exemptions.

Texas: One of America’s Hottest Housing Markets Highlights Property Tax Disparity

A county-by-county deep dive into property tax rates and appeals in Texas, one of the country’s hottest real estate markets, reinforced the findings that owners of more valuable properties are more likely to appeal their property taxes. Below are key findings from 2021 public data:

  • In Brazoria County, along the state’s Coastal Bend, 12.56% of those who owned the most valuable properties filed a formal protest; less than 4% of those in the bottom bracket protested.
  • In Travis County, home to Austin, 12.7% of the most valuable properties had a formal protest filed, compared to less than 6% of the least valuable properties.
  • In Harris County, home to Houston, 66.23% of owners in the top tier of properties filed protests, more than six times as many as the lowest tier.

Ownwell Data Analysis: Behind the Numbers

One stark example came from the Houston metro area (Harris County), where owners of the most valuable properties were more than six times more likely to appeal their property taxes than owners of the least valuable properties.

To determine whether owners of more valuable properties were more likely to pay a lower effective tax rate, Ownwell grouped real estate properties into six bins separate by their relative percentile (0-25%, 25-50%, 50-75%, 75-90%, 90-95%, 95-99%, 99-100%). Ownwell summed each group’s total real estate value, then tallied the corresponding property taxes paid. By dividing the total taxes paid by the total market value, Ownwell determined the relative percentage of taxes paid per dollar of real estate value. The report can be found here.

For more information on the survey and how Ownwell can help reduce unfair assessments, visit Ownwell.com.

About Ownwell

Ownwell specializes in reducing property taxes for property owners. Each year, Ownwell analyzes millions of properties to identify property owners who are overpaying and offers to protest their tax assessments on their behalf for just 25% of any savings they are able to achieve. Backed by cutting-edge technology, Ownwell’s team of local tax experts is on a mission to reduce unfair assessments, empowering our clients to take back their rightful savings. Visit Ownwell.com to learn more.


Katie LeChase