Target: April 15

2019's Tax Burden By State

Not to be confused with your ‘tax rate,’ this simple ratio measure the proportion of personal income that Uncle Sam gets to keep

by Adam McCann

Mr. McCann is a Financial Writer for Wallethub, the financial website ‘dedicated to helping people efficiently attain top WalletFitness™.’ Reprinted with permission.Visit wallethub.com

On April 15, Uncle Sam will once again take his cut of the past year’s earnings. And many taxpayers are already wondering how that will affect their finances. However, since the tax code is so complicated and has rules based on individual household characteristics, it’s hard for the average person to tell. And with a new tax code taking effect this year, this year’s taxes will be quite different than last year’s.

One simple ratio known as the “tax burden” helps cut through the confusion. Unlike tax rates, which vary widely based on an individual’s circumstances, tax burden measures the proportion of total personal income that residents pay toward state and local taxes. And it isn’t uniform across the U.S., either.

To determine the residents with the biggest tax burdens, WalletHub compared the 50 states across the three tax types of state tax burdens — property taxes, individual income taxes and sales and excise taxes — as a share of total personal income in the state. Read on for our findings, commentary from a panel of tax experts and a full description of our methodology.

Tax Facts

No one likes Tax Day, except for accountants and Uncle Sam. In fact, disdain for filling out forms and forking over funds to the government drives many of us to contemplate some pretty kooky alternatives. For example, according to WalletHub’s Tax Survey, nearly one in four Americans would get an “IRS” tattoo in return for a tax-free future, while 36% say they would move abroad for a tax-free future.

It’s no wonder, either. We’ve spent billions of hours preparing billions of dollars in payments since tax season began Jan. 28. We’re grappling with a tax code that’s longer than all of the Harry Potter and Game of Thrones books combined. We’re also scrambling to satisfy and take full advantage of recent tax reforms. Tax preparation can be a frightening prospect for many people as a result.

For more fun (or not so fun) facts about 2019’s tax landscape, check out WalletHub’s Tax Day Facts infographic.

Overall Tax Burden by State

Overall Rank
(1=Highest)
StateTotal Tax Burden
(%)
Property Tax Burden
(%)
Individual Income Tax Burden
(%)
Total Sales & Excise Tax Burden
(%)
1New York12.97%4.57%
(6)
4.81%
(1)
3.59%
(21)
2Hawaii11.71%2.24%
(39)
2.91%
(9)
6.56%
(1)
3Maine10.84%4.74%
(5)
2.60%
(15)
3.50%
(25)
4Vermont10.77%5.12%
(2)
2.31%
(26)
3.34%
(26)
5Minnesota10.25%2.97%
(20)
3.68%
(4)
3.60%
(20)
6Rhode Island10.20%4.75%
(4)
2.30%
(27)
3.15%
(34)
7New Jersey9.86%5.05%
(3)
2.40%
(22)
2.41%
(43)
8Connecticut9.70%4.21%
(8)
3.03%
(8)
2.46%
(42)
9Illinois9.67%4.04%
(9)
2.05%
(32)
3.58%
(23)
10Iowa9.49%3.41%
(16)
2.52%
(20)
3.56%
(24)
11California9.47%2.71%
(30)
3.57%
(5)
3.19%
(30)
12Ohio9.31%2.80%
(25)
2.54%
(19)
3.97%
(15)
13Maryland9.26%2.63%
(31)
3.87%
(3)
2.76%
(40)
14Nebraska9.21%3.84%
(10)
2.37%
(23)
3.00%
(38)
15West Virginia9.18%2.48%
(34)
2.73%
(11)
3.97%
(15)
16Wisconsin9.15%3.42%
(15)
2.73%
(11)
3.00%
(38)
17Arkansas9.11%1.79%
(47)
2.34%
(25)
4.98%
(5)
18Mississippi9.02%2.76%
(26)
1.68%
(37)
4.58%
(7)
19Massachusetts8.90%3.62%
(13)
3.24%
(6)
2.04%
(45)
20Kansas8.77%3.14%
(18)
1.62%
(38)
4.01%
(13)
20Kentucky8.77%1.96%
(45)
3.22%
(7)
3.59%
(21)
22New Mexico8.66%1.97%
(44)
1.74%
(36)
4.95%
(6)
23Pennsylvania8.58%2.87%
(23)
2.57%
(17)
3.14%
(35)
24Louisiana8.51%2.08%
(43)
1.44%
(39)
4.99%
(4)
25Michigan8.40%3.16%
(17)
2.20%
(31)
3.04%
(36)
26North Carolina8.38%2.28%
(38)
2.78%
(10)
3.32%
(27)
27Arizona8.26%2.61%
(32)
1.41%
(40)
4.24%
(12)
27Utah8.26%2.42%
(36)
2.63%
(14)
3.21%
(28)
29Nevada8.26%2.24%
(39)
0.00%
(44)
6.02%
(2)
30Oregon8.25%3.11%
(19)
4.05%
(2)
1.09%
(50)
31Indiana8.22%2.22%
(42)
2.26%
(28)
3.74%
(18)
32Washington8.20%2.59%
(33)
0.00%
(44)
5.61%
(3)
33Texas8.18%3.82%
(11)
0.00%
(44)
4.36%
(10)
34Colorado8.15%2.72%
(28)
2.24%
(29)
3.19%
(30)
35Georgia8.10%2.72%
(28)
2.37%
(23)
3.01%
(37)
36Missouri7.86%2.23%
(41)
2.42%
(21)
3.21%
(28)
37North Dakota7.83%2.46%
(35)
0.88%
(41)
4.49%
(8)
38Virginia7.80%2.90%
(21)
2.73%
(11)
2.17%
(44)
39Idaho7.75%2.33%
(37)
2.24%
(29)
3.18%
(33)
40South Carolina7.55%2.89%
(22)
1.94%
(33)
2.72%
(41)
41Wyoming7.51%4.32%
(7)
0.00%
(44)
3.19%
(30)
42Alabama7.28%1.39%
(50)
1.89%
(34)
4.00%
(14)
42South Dakota7.28%2.87%
(23)
0.00%
(44)
4.41%
(9)
44Montana7.27%3.44%
(14)
2.58%
(16)
1.25%
(48)
45Oklahoma7.12%1.66%
(49)
1.82%
(35)
3.64%
(19)
46New Hampshire6.86%5.45%
(1)
0.12%
(42)
1.29%
(47)
47Florida6.56%2.74%
(27)
0.00%
(44)
3.82%
(17)
48Tennessee6.28%1.90%
(46)
0.11%
(43)
4.27%
(11)
49Delaware5.55%1.79%
(47)
2.55%
(18)
1.21%
(49)
50Alaska5.10%3.66%
(12)
0.00%
(44)
1.44%
(46)

 

Methodology

In order to determine the states that tax their residents the most and least aggressively, WalletHub compared the 50 states across the following three tax burdens and added the results to obtain the overall tax burden for each state:

  • Property Tax as a Share of Personal Income
  • Individual Income Tax as a Share of Personal Income
  • Total Sales & Excise Tax as a Share of Personal Income