Study: Osceola, Lyon & O’Brien County Residents Getting Good Returns On Property Taxes

Northwest Iowa — Property taxes in the U.S. are collected by local governments and are usually based on the value of a property. The money collected is generally used to support community safety, schools, infrastructure and other public projects.

But parts of are area are named in a new study created by — as areas where residents get the “best bang for their buck,” so-to-speak.

In fact, according to the study, Osceola County residents are getting the best deal in the state. They say the county’s residents pay a property tax rate of 1.02 percent; their schools are 9-out-of-10; home value growth is at 44.53 percent, for an overall index of 59.43.

A few counties down the list, Lyon County is number 8 with a property tax rate of 0.98 percent; schools 10-out-of-10, a home value growth of 39.24 percent and an overall index of 50.15.

Just below Lyon County, at number 9 is O’Brien County with a property tax rate of 1.05 percent, schools 8-out-of-10, a 37.27 percent home value growth, and an overall index of 49.25. says their study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most value for their property tax dollars. To do this, they looked at property taxes paid, school rankings and the change in property values throughout a five-year period.

They say they used the number of households, median home value, and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax amount that is collected for each county.

As a way to measure the quality of schools, they say they analyzed the math and reading/language arts proficiencies for every school district in the country. They created an average score for each district by looking at the scores for every school in that district, weighting it to account for the number of students in each school. Within each state, they assigned every county a score between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on the average scores of the districts in each county.

Then, they calculated the change in property tax value in each county throughout a five-year period. Places where property values rose by the greatest amount indicated where consumers were motivated to buy homes, and a positive return on investment for homeowners in the community.

Finally, they say they calculated a property tax index, based on those criteria. Counties with the highest scores were those where property tax dollars are going the furthest.

Click here for a look at the survey.