Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Which states are best for tax payers? (25 items)

By , Deseret News

April 21, 2014

Tax day has come and gone, but the burden (or blessing, depending on your income bracket) of taxation is year round.

In case you were considering a change of scenery because of your state's overbearing taxes, a new study by personal finance website Wallet Hub has rated each state according to overall tax burden.

The study also incorporated the Cost of Living Index and the average tax rate for the whole country to help determine which states were best overall if your top concern is getting the most out of your tax money.

1 of 25. Tennessee

Average annual state and local taxes: $7,252.00

Percentage difference from national average: 4 percent

Adjusted rank when the Cost of Living Index is included: 21

2 of 25. Missouri

Average annual state and local taxes: $7,220.00

Percentage difference from national average: 4 percent

Adjusted rank when the Cost of Living Index is included: 22

3 of 25. South Carolina

Average annual state and local taxes: $7,070.00

Percentage difference from national average: 1 percent

Adjusted rank when the Cost of Living Index is included: 24

4 of 25. Rhode Island

Average annual state and local taxes: $6,905.00

Percentage difference from national average: -1 percent

Adjusted rank when the Cost of Living Index is included: 40

5 of 25. Massachusetts

Average annual state and local taxes: $6,884.00

Percentage difference from national average: -1 percent

Adjusted rank when the Cost of Living Index is included: 35
1. Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah,
April 22, 2014

Wait, I thought Utahn's were the most overtaxed people in America.

2. DavidCayJohnston
Rochester, NY,
April 23, 2014

Utterly meaningless analysis.

Good journalism would include adjusting for average incomes (still not great, but better than what was provided), some analysis of who bears the burden (in 49 states the poorest fifth of families bear a heavier state/local burden than the top 1%) and the services provided) and how much revenue comes from regressive sources (sales taxes) and progressive ones (generally income taxes, often property taxes).

Low taxes can mask higher private spending o buy services not provided, while higher total taxes may mean less overall cost where government provides services more efficiently.

Given that state and local subsidies now cost the average family of four $900 annually -- more than a week's take home pay for the median income family -- the growing diversion of tax dollars from public purposes to private gain also needs to be considered for the figures here to have meaning.

And why list only half the states?

3. Bored to the point of THIS!
Ogden, UT,
April 23, 2014

Re Fred44

We are! The Utah legislature has managed to manipulate where the taxes come from. We pay small taxes, here, there... everywhere which masks the true overall rate.

Also keep in mind we're taxed based on income levels. This scale is based on dollar amounts. If we made more on average per person, we'd pay more!

I don't put much into these stories, because someone is always cooking the books to make a point.

4. Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah,
April 23, 2014

Bored,

Our state income tax is about as flat a tax as you get. We keep adding 12-15,000 students a year into our public schools, but our tax rate as a percentage of our income has dropped consistently over the last twenty years compared to other states.

Yes there are other ways to measure tax burden, but on the whole any way you look at it, Utah is one of the lowest taxed states in the country.

5. Mtn Tracker
Ephraim, UT,
April 23, 2014

Fred,
We keep adding x amount of students every year. Teachers keep saying it like we don't ad tax paying parents as well. We are taxed more per income level than most states and that's a fact! Utahn's have larger families and due to it we are taxed more. If you brought up the student thing I'm guessing your a teacher. Enjoy summer break! How long is it? What about fall break, Christmas break, Spring Break, and every other little holiday. What's the state average salary and benefits for teachers!?!