NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


April 10, 2009

In early April, fears of IRS tax men are warranted, but in many places it's the state government that residents should be worried about, says Forbes magazines.  According to the Census Bureau, many states levy more heavy taxes on their residents than the federal government.

While some states are heavy on state income taxes, others focus on property taxes and others still on sales taxes.  The state of Vermont, however, doesn't mess around: sales, property and personal income taxes strike at $1,379, $1,004 and $1,306 per person, respectively.


  • With a population of 620,000, Vermont levies the nation's largest tax burden on individuals: an average of $3,861 per person.
  • At least in Hawaii, which ranks No. 2, the state government sticks it to out-of-towners: property taxes are non-existent there, with the majority of receipts coming from sales tax thanks to a heavily tourist-driven economy.
  • Behind Hawaii is Connecticut, whose average tax burden per person is $3,596; next is Minnesota with an average tax burden of $3,203 followed by New Jersey with $3,024.
  • Taxes on individual income totaled $280 billion nationwide, up 5.1 percent from 2007; $36.5 billion ($1,876 per person) came from New York and $12.4 billion ($1,925 per person) came from Massachusetts.

However, with the economy caving in on itself, Americans are stashing their cash and have boosted the savings rate to 5 percent, the highest rate in 13 years.  That's bad news for state governments, as money being saved instead of spent cannot be taxed, explains Forbes.

Source: Matt Woolsey, "Where Americans Are Taxed Most," Forbes/, April 7, 2009.


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