If homeowners in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions think their property taxes are really high, they're right. According to recent data on owner-occupied housing from the Census Bureau, homeowners in the Northeast and certain Midwestern states pay the highest property taxes in the nation.

Folks in the Garden State have the dubious distinction of topping the tax totem pole with median real estate taxes of $6,320 in 2008. That was followed by Connecticut ($4,603); New Hampshire ($4,501); New York ($3,622); Rhode Island ($3,534); Massachusetts ($3,406); Illinois ($3,384); Vermont ($3,281); Wisconsin ($2,963); and California ($2,829).

The national median is $1,897. The top ten counties with the highest median real estate taxes are all in New Jersey and New York.

In terms of median real estate taxes as a percentage of median home values, the top ten comprises Texas (1.76%); New Jersey (1.74%); Nebraska (1.72%); Wisconsin (1.71%); New Hampshire (1.70%); Illinois (1.57%); Vermont (1.53%); Connecticut (1.50%); Michigan (1.45%); and North Dakota (1.41%).

The national median is 0.96%. The top ten counties in this category are all in New York.

Looking for a cheap place to live, at least when it comes to property taxes? Try Louisiana, which had both the lowest median real estate taxes ($188) and median taxes as a percentage of median home values (0.14%). Other low-tax states include Alabama (49th in taxes paid and 48th in taxes as a percentage of home values), Arkansas (46th and 43rd), Mississippi (47th and 46th), New Mexico (42nd in both categories), South Carolina (45th and 44th), West Virginia (48th and 45th), and Wyoming (40th and 41st).