Fairfax, Prince William and Montgomery County residents pay higher property taxes per capita than residents from any other counties in the country, and homeowners in Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties also were ranked near the top, according to a new national survey.
In an annual financial review of the nation's top 50 counties by City & State magazine, Fairfax ranked highest in per-capita property taxes with $1,185 collected per person; Prince William was second with $769.90; Montgomery was third with $626.70. Henrico County, outside Richmond, was fourth in the survey with $622.80; Baltimore County was fifth with $501.90; Anne Arundel was sixth with $458.80; and Prince George's was seventh with $394.80.
For the survey, the top 50 counties were selected and ranked according to the total revenue each collected for fiscal 1990. Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties did not participate in the survey.
Montgomery County officials said last year they did not participate because they considered the survey inaccurate, noting that states and localities levy different taxes and provide different services, so comparisons were incomplete and arbitrary. For instance, general fund revenue defined by the magazine as the government's operating funds included education funding for Montgomery, Prince George's, Anne Arundel, Prince William and Henrico counties, but not for other counties in the survey.
Virginia officials also take exception with the survey, complaining that property tax figures for their jurisdictions appear unusually high because the state does not permit a local income tax or real estate transfer tax, facts not mentioned in the survey.