The Council of State Taxation recently released its “2011 Scoreboard on State Property Tax Administration Practices.”

Noting that a fair property tax administration should have the following standards, the Council ranked the states utilizing both a point and letter grade combination. The standards utilized by the Council for such a property tax administration are:

  1. Standardized procedures for filing, remittance and appeal along with a reasonable property tax evaluation system;
  2. The appeal process must be before an independent tribunal in a de novo hearing without “pay to play” requirements; and
  3. The tax burden must be balanced and uniform while not being shifted to business taxpayers.  

Points were assigned to each category and grades A through F were given based upon the number of points in each category on a state-by-state basis.

On standardized procedures, Pennsylvania received a grade of F; on fair tax appeal procedures, a grade of C; on balance between residential versus business property taxes, a grade of C-; and finally, an overall grade of D-, which tied Pennsylvania for second worst behind only New York State. Maryland was number one with an overall grade of A. New Jersey, on the other hand, received an overall grade of C- with a D in standardized procedures, a C in fair tax appeal procedures and a B- in residential versus business property taxation.  

Delaware was tied with Pennsylvania with a D-, having received an F in standardized procedures, a C- in fair tax appeal procedures and a B- in residential versus business property taxation.