The data on real estate taxes were obtained from answers to long-form questionnaire Item 49, which was asked on a sample basis at owner-occupied housing units. The statistics from this question refer to the total amount of all real estate taxes on the entire property (land and buildings) payable in 1999 to all taxing jurisdictions, including special assessments, school taxes, county taxes, and so forth.
Real estate taxes include state, local, and all other real estate taxes even if delinquent, unpaid, or paid by someone who is not a member of the household. However, taxes due from prior years are not included. If taxes are not paid on a yearly basis, the payments are converted to a yearly basis. The payment for real estate taxes is added to payments for fire, hazard, and flood insurance; utilities and fuels; and mortgages (both first and second, home equity loans, and other junior mortgages) to derive "Selected Monthly Owner Costs" and "Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in 1999." A separate question (47c) determines whether real estate taxes are included in the mortgage payment to the lender(s). This makes it possible to avoid counting taxes twice in the computations.
Median real estate taxes divides the real estate taxes distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median real estate taxes and one-half above the median. Median real estate taxes is computed on the basis of a standard distribution (see the "Standard Distributions" section under "Derived Measures"). Median real estate taxes is rounded to the nearest whole dollar. (For more information on medians, see "Derived Measures".)
Aggregate real estate taxes
Aggregate real estate taxes are calculated by adding together all of the real estate taxes for occupied housing units in an area. Aggregate real estate taxes is subject to rounding, which means that all cells in a matrix are rounded to the nearest hundred dollars. (For more information, see "Aggregate" under "Derived Measures".)
Data for real estate taxes were collected for the first time in 1980. In 1990, the question was asked at 1-family, owner-occupied houses; mobile homes; and condominiums. In Census 2000, the question was asked at all owner-occupied housing units.