Texas vs. California: Property Taxes in 2023 Show Owning a Home in California is More Affordable!

Foro E. Jr.

Hold Your Horses! Think Twice Before Packing Your Bags for the Lone Star State.

Photo bySnatalia | Dreamstime, Serban Enache | Dreamstime

Choosing a place to call home involves weighing numerous factors, and for many Americans, state property taxes play a crucial role. A recent study by WalletHub sought to determine which states had the cheapest real estate taxes, with Hawaii and Alabama taking the top spots.

However, a surprising revelation emerged that might give Californians considering a move to Texas some pause. Despite Texas' reputation for affordable real estate, it turns out that owning a home in the Golden State is actually more budget-friendly when it comes to property taxes. Let's dive into the details and debunk the myth of Texas as a tax haven.

Texas vs. California: The Property Tax Showdown

A Surprising Twist in the Lone Star State

Financial experts delved into U.S. Census Bureau data to assess the average real estate and vehicle property taxes across states. The findings placed Texas in a disappointing 46th position out of 51, with a tax rate of 1.74%. On the other hand, California maintained a relatively high ranking at 16th place, sporting a .75% effective rate. Despite Texas boasting a median home value of $202,600, far below California's $573,200, the property tax rates in the Lone Star State overshadow the allure of its affordable real estate prices.

Texas' Property Tax Conundrum: Higher Rates, Lower Rankings

The Costly Side of Homeownership

The reality is that Texas falls short when it comes to property tax affordability. While it may be true that you can find a more affordable house in Texas compared to California, the property taxes take a substantial bite out of homeowners' budgets. With a 1.74% tax rate, Texans face a higher burden than their counterparts in California, where the effective rate stands at .75%. This unexpected twist challenges the conventional wisdom surrounding Texas as a tax-friendly destination.

The California Exodus: Myth vs. Reality

What Draws Californians to Texas?

Despite the higher property taxes, it seems that Texans' lower cost of living compared to California is still a significant draw for many. The Lone Star State's overall affordability, coupled with its unique attractions like H-E-B grocery stores and mouthwatering Tex-Mex cuisine, continue to lure people from the Golden State. In fact, estimates suggest that out of the over 880,000 individuals who have migrated to Texas in recent years, one in every ten hails from California. It appears that the appeal lies beyond property taxes, as Texas captures hearts with its distinctive charm and lower overall expenses.

The Bottom Line: Reconsidering the Texas Dream

A New Perspective on Property Taxes

The notion that Texas offers substantially lower property taxes compared to California has been debunked. While Texas may have an advantage in terms of affordable housing prices, the hefty property tax burden can offset any perceived savings. As aspiring homeowners evaluate their options, it's essential to consider the bigger financial picture. Texas may still hold allure for many with its lower cost of living and iconic Texan experiences, but the property tax reality challenges the narrative of Texas as the ultimate tax haven.


As Americans make choices about where to establish their roots, property taxes play a significant role in the decision-making process. The study's surprising findings reveal that California, despite its higher median home value, offers more favorable property tax rates than Texas. The Texas dream, while still enticing for its affordability and unique attributes, needs to be evaluated in the context of overall expenses, including property taxes. It's essential for prospective homeowners to examine the full financial landscape before embarking on their journey, ensuring that their chosen destination aligns with their long-term goals and financial well-being.

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Howdy y'all! I'm a Texas-based writer with a passion for storytelling. From capturing the essence of small-town living to exploring the great outdoors, I love to craft engaging content that reflects the unique spirit of United States of America

Houston, TX

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