Find more tax advice and the latest stories from USA TODAY's personal finance reporters and columnists. Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misstated the amount of 2009 unemployment benefits that are not taxable. That amount is $2,400. The average income tax refund is up nearly 10% from a year ago, reflecting tax credits included in last year's economic stimulus package, according to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman.
You can start reducing your property tax bill making sure you’re taking advantage of all the property tax breaks available to you.Many jurisdictions will exclude a portion of a home’s value from property taxes if you’re a senior or a veteran, or if you’re disabled. Other jurisdictions reduce your tax bill by a certain percentage if you meet specific criteria. Such property tax breaks aren’t automatic; you usually have to apply for them and show proof of eligibility.
Home values have risen across the country, which means many homeowners' property taxes are going up, too. The average annual property tax for owner-occupied single family homes nationwide in 2016 was $3,658, an effective tax rate of 1.21%, according to Attom Data Solutions. Nine counties impose average annual property taxes of $10,000 or more, and 32 counties had average property taxes of $7,000 or more.