Who’s Paying the Highest Property Taxes in the US

The fact that Manhattan dominates the rankings doesn't come as a shock, but the difference in numbers might. The list compiled by COMMERCIALCafé is quite the mixed bag.

Property owners in the U.S. shell out substantial–sometimes huge–amounts of cash on property taxes every year, and those taxes only increase as a building changes hands at a higher price and becomes more appealing to investors. The fact that the top taxpaying buildings in the U.S. are located in Manhattan won’t necessarily come as a shock, either, but the difference in numbers might. The New York City commercial real estate market remains the destination of choice for national and offshore investors alike, and some of the largest corporations in the world are based there. So it makes sense that Big Apple property owners would pay sky-high amounts in taxes–but the numbers are much higher than you think. Take the General Motors Building, for instance: Boston Properties spends more than $71 million on taxes alone for its Fifth Avenue office building. That’s an excessively high price in itself, but when you compare it with property taxes paid elsewhere in the U.S., that number seems downright outrageous. However, there are a few properties outside of New York that also fork over big wads of cash on taxes every year. Some you’ll recognize, and some might surprise you, but they all earned a spot on COMMERCIALCafé’s list of the top 100 taxpaying properties in the U.S. Check it out below:

Willis Tower Nearly 3 Times Cheaper than GM Building in 2016

Out of a total of 81 office properties featured on our list, 77 are located in Manhattan and 4 in Chicago. It seems like the skyscrapers grazing the Windy City skyline command some of the highest property taxes in the country. Nonetheless, when comparing the top taxpaying office buildings in New York City with those in Chicago, the differences are striking. Though the 108-story former Sears Tower on Wacker Drive is twice the size of NYC’s General Motors Building (#1 property on our list), the latter commanded a much higher tax in 2016. Boston Properties pays nearly $72 million in property taxes for its Midtown Manhattan building, while Blackstone’s Willis Tower costs roughly $28 million–a 152% difference. Let’s put it another way: while Blackstone pays $7 per square foot on property taxes for Willis Tower, Boston Properties shells out $39 per square foot for the General Motors Building–nearly six times more.

See a map of all the contenders and more details on properties that stand out at COMMERCIALCafé.