Paying property taxes is no picnic, but according to a new analysis, Central Valley residents receive the best value for their tax dollars in all of California. Financial information firm SmartAsset first calculated changes in property tax rates per capita. It also tracked school district rankings and home value growth for 2022 over a five-year period. It formed an overall index of all those factors to determine where property tax revenue is most effectively spent in the Golden State.

No. 1 was Kings County with an overall index score of 62.25. Home values in Kings County, where the property tax rate was 0.79%, grew by 65.08% in five years (No. 8 overall). Analyzing quality of schools based on math and reading/language arts proficiency scores, Kings County had a 5.00 school rating (No. 3 overall).

Fresno was No. 2 for SmartAsset’s best property tax value list with an index score of 58.56. In Fresno County, with a property tax rate of 0.82%, home values increased by 70.93% over five years (No. 5 overall). The school score index was 7.00 (No. 2 overall). Tulare County came in at No. 5 with an index score of 55.52. Its school rating score was 2.00, with home values increasing by 68.14% (No. 7 overall). It had a 0.75% property tax rate.

Madera County scored at No. 7 with a 53.24 overall index. Home value growth was 71% (No. 4 overall), while the school rating score was 2.00 and the property tax rate was 0.74%. Other counties packing the best overall property tax value list were Imperial at No. 3, Lassen at No. 4 and Merced at No. 6.

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