Property Taxes (PROPTX99) Topcode

I’ve been investigating property tax topcodes in the ACS IPUMS variable PROPTX99 and its source variables.

The IPUMS documentation says its maximum category value (69) reflects reported values higher than 10,000 USD in all years for which the variable is available. Moreover, the editing procedure says: “If the reported real estate taxes (PROPTX99) exceed the top code, the value will be replaced with the top code.”

The ACS PUMS documentation of the Census Bureau says that reported values are topcoded if they exceed a “top-code national minimum value”.

For every year, the Census Bureau publishes tables showing this minimum value (which varies between years and sometimes even between states) as well as the mean of all reported property taxes exceeding it. This description and data is also available on the ACS IPUMS page on TOP CODED AND BOTTOM CODED VALUES FOR ACS/PRCS SAMPLES BY STATE.

Given this information, I would like to clarify how the 10,000 USD topcode was implemented in the IPUMS ACS variable PROPTX99:

Does the editing procedure use the year (and state) specific minimum value? Or does it simply set values above 10,000 USD equal to 10,000 USD – irrespective of the year (and state)?

Thanks for your answer!

The variable PROPTX99 is top coded at $10,000 in all ACS samples. The page on top and bottom coded variables in the ACS states that “all base dollar amounts are top-coded using the state mean of all cases greater than or equal to the top-code state minimum value. The only exception to the top-code state minimum value is TAX which uses the top-code national minimum value.” TAX refers to the variables TAXP or TAXAMT, the names of the original ACS variables corresponding to the IPUMS USA variable PROPTX99. Looking through the tables on the linked page, you will see that the top code for PROPTX99 does not vary by state or year. I was not able to find any documentation from the Census suggesting that the top code varies.

Please follow up with any additional questions or if you have a link to any information from the Census or IPUMS suggesting that the top code varies by year or state. Thank you.