The data contained in the calculator represents only one way of looking at city finances and budgets. To compare tax rates and property tax levies, the annual property tax tables available on the League’s site are useful. For revenue and expenditure information, look to data from the Office of the State Auditor.
You can make comparisons over time for a given city to see the changes in taxes owed to the city and to all local jurisdictions. When doing so, keep in mind that home values fluctuate over time as well, so using different median or typical values for different years may be more accurate.
You can make comparisons between cities to see differences in taxes owed within different communities. Again, keep in mind that purchasing power varies widely across the state. While a $200,000 home may be very typical in one community and therefore generate a typical tax bill using the calculator, a $200,000 home may be the exception in another community.
It can be more accurate to use different home values for different communities, depending on what is typical in those communities. In other words, buyers may be able to get a three-bedroom house for $200,000 in one city but have to pay $400,000 for that same house in another community.