21 states had higher 2014 property tax rates than Florida.

IRVING, Calif. – March 4, 2015 – A new report released by RealtyTrac on Property Taxes finds that Florida homeowners, on average, paid an average 1.18 percent effective property tax rate in 2014 (average property taxes for single family homes in 2014 divided by average estimated value of single family homes as of the end of 2014) – but that rate varies by county.

And even in counties with similar tax rates, the actual amount of money collected varies depending on local housing values.

Both Bay and Lafayette County, for example, have some of the lowest property tax rates in Florida at .85 percent and .97 percent, respectively. However, even with a lower rate, the average property tax paid by homeowners in Bay County in 2014 is higher at $1,618. In Lafayette County, the average homeowner paid $1,090.

At the other end of the spectrum, property owners in Miami-Dade County paid a 1.36 percent tax rate and an average of $6,877 in 2014.

RealtyTrac created a heat map of the United States that includes the property tax rate and average amount paid by owners in most Florida counties.

In a state-to-state comparison, 21 U.S. states paid a higher property tax rate than Florida homeowners in 2014. New York ranks highest at 3.01 percent; Alabama is at the bottom with a 0.4 percent property tax rate.

Variations by home

Even within a county or state, the actual property tax rate paid by a specific homeowner could change depending on two variables: Value of the home and the length of ownership.

In Florida, long-time homeowners generally pay a lower property tax rate. First-year owners paid a 1.21 percent effective tax rate that rose to 1.23 percent in the second to fifth year. After that, however, it declined.

Owners in the same home for five to 10 years paid 1.19 percent; 10 to 15 years 1.14 percent; 15 to 20 years 1.06 percent; and over 20 years 0.96 percent.

Thanks in part to Florida's property tax exemptions, lower-value homeowners and higher-value homeowners tend to pay a higher property tax rates. The sweet spot for a low tax rate, according to RealtyTrac, are homes in the $100,000-$200,00 range, where owners pay an effective 1.06 percent tax rate.

Homes worth less than $50,000 pay 1.48 percent; homes worth $50,000-$100,000 pay 1.17 percent.

Above the $200,000 value cutoff, rates slowly rise: Those with a value of

    $200,000-$300,000 pay 1.10 percent
    $300,000-$400,000 pay 1.14 percent
    $400,000-$500,000 pay 1.17 percent
    $500,00-$750,000 pay 1.21 percent
    $750,000-$1 million pay 1.28 percent
    $1-$2 million pay 1.40 percent
    $2-$5 million pay 1.65 percent

U.S. study findings

Nationwide, the average effective property tax rate for all properties was 1.29 percent.

The average effective property tax rate was 1.35 percent for homeowners who have owned between 10 and 15 years, and 1.34 percent for homeowners who have owned between 5 and 10 years.

Single family homes valued above $300,000 or more accounted for 25 percent of all single family homes nationwide, but the property taxes paid on those homes account for 54 percent of all property taxes paid nationwide.

States with the highest effective property tax rates were New York (3.01 percent), Texas (2.18 percent), Illinois (2.15 percent), Connecticut (2.11 percent) and New Jersey (2.01 percent).