New LERETA Data Finds Southern, Central States Have Highest Number Of Unassessed Properties

Louisiana, Alabama and Kansas top the list of states with the highest percentage of properties with a zero tax bill, according to recent data from LERETA, a leading national real estate tax and flood service provider. There are several reasons for this situation, including a significantly low property assessment, publicly owned property or forgiveness of property tax for other reasons.

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“The number of properties without a tax bill affects a jurisdiction’s budget and its ability to pay for schools, roads, fire and ambulance services and other city infrastructure,” explained Terry Cason, data modeling analyst at LERETA. “This means other taxable properties might have higher taxes in order to compensate for the shortfall in collection.”

LERETA reviewed approximately 89 million parcel records through April of this year and found 5 percent or 4.6 million bills had a zero tax amount. Most of the properties were in rural states. Louisiana has the highest number of zero tax bill properties at 14.60 percent, Alabama had 13.40 percent followed by Kansas with 12.60 percent. LERETA reviewed tax data in 33 states where current tax billing was available. Also on the list of states with significant number of properties with zero tax amounts is Mississippi, Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota, Arizona, Idaho and Iowa.

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Since 1986, LERETA has provided the mortgage and insurance industries the fastest, most accurate and complete access to property tax data and flood hazard status information across the U.S. LERETA is committed to giving customers extraordinary service and cost-effective property tax and flood solutions. LERETA’s services are designed to increase efficiency, reduce penalties and liabilities and improve processes for mortgage originators and servicers.

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Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at