NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

50 States, 50 Different Tax Regimes

March 26, 2013

Every year the Tax Foundation compiles a variety of tax data into its "Facts & Figures" report, which it provides to legislators and the public. In the report, it compares for every state's individual and corporate income taxes, general sales taxes, excise taxes, property taxes, estate and inheritance taxes, lottery and state debt. The report advocates simplicity and transparency in tax law, neutrality and broad bases and low rates with few deductions, credits or exclusions, says Scott Drenkard, an economist at the Tax Foundation.

  • Tax Freedom Day represents how long Americans must work into the year before they have earned enough money to pay all federal, state and local taxes. In 2012, it was April 17 for the entire United States, with Tennessee being the earliest on March 31 and Connecticut the latest on May 5.
  • In 2010, the average state and local tax burden per capita was $4,112, with Mississippi having the lowest burden at $2,265, followed by Tennessee, Alaska, South Carolina, Louisiana and New Mexico; Connecticut had the highest burden at $6,984, followed by New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Maryland.
  • In 2010, as a percentage of state income, New York had the highest tax burden at 12.8 percent, followed by New Jersey at 12.4 percent and Connecticut at 12.3 percent; Alaska had the lowest burden at 7.0 percent, followed by South Dakota at 7.6 percent and Tennessee at 7.7 percent.
  • In 2013, after accounting for a multitude of taxes, Wyoming ranked as the most friendly business tax climate, followed by South Dakota, Nevada, Alaska, Florida, Washington, New Hampshire, Montana, Texas and Utah.
  • On average, in 2010, 34.8 percent of a state and local tax revenue was derived from property taxes, 22.4 percent from general sales taxes, 20.5 percent from individual income taxes, 3.4 percent from corporate income taxes and 18.9 percent from other taxes.
  • As of January 1, 2013, Tennessee had the highest state and local tax rate with a combined rate of 9.44 percent, followed by Arizona at 9.16 percent, Louisiana at 8.87 percent, Washington at 8.86 percent and Oklahoma at 8.67 percent.
  • The average income per capita in the United States was $41,560 in 2011 and the average debt per capita was $9,184 in 2010.

Source: Scott Drenkard, "Facts & Figures: How Does Your State Compare?" Tax Foundation, March 18, 2013.


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