The best and worst states to live in for taxes

Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from US Census Bureau
  • While federal taxes are the lion’s share of most US tax bills, state governments also levy taxes on incomes, sales, property, and other transactions and assets.
  • Using data from the US Census Bureau, we found total per-capita tax revenues in each state and DC.
  • Big, urban coastal states and a handful of natural-resource-producing states tended to fall at the top of the list.

Tax season is upon us, and while federal income taxes are likely to be the lion’s share of most Americans’ tax bills, state-level taxes can also weigh heavily on workers, consumers, and businesses.

To get a sense of how the tax burden varies across the country, we took a look at overall tax revenues for each state, adjusted by the size of each state’s population.

The US Census Bureau’s Census of Governments program publishes annual data on state tax collections for each state and Washington, DC. We took the total tax collections for each state from 2017, the most recent year for which data was available, and found how much tax each state collected per person living in the state.


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Many of the states with higher per capita tax revenues fall in the traditionally liberal and urban Northeast and West Coast. Some resources-heavy states, like North Dakota, had very high revenues from severance taxes, levied on oil, gas, and other resources that are shipped out of state.

Here’s each state and DC, ranked from lowest to highest per-capita 2017 total tax revenue, along with per-capita estimates for income, sales, property, and other taxes, according to the Census Bureau (components may not add up to the total per-capita revenue due to rounding):


51. Alaska

Total taxes per capita: $US1,608

Income taxes: $US119

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US356

Property taxes: $US163

Other taxes: $US971


50. New Hampshire

Total taxes per capita: $US1,859

Income taxes: $US476

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US714

Property taxes: $US302

Other taxes: $US367


49. Texas

Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US1,894

Income taxes: $US0

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,657

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US237


48. Florida

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Total taxes per capita: $US1,917

Income taxes: $US114

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,589

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US214


47. South Carolina

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US1,956

Income taxes: $US899

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US923

Property taxes: $US7

Other taxes: $US127


46. Arizona

Photoholgic/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US1,979

Income taxes: $US544

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,217

Property taxes: $US142

Other taxes: $US77


45. Missouri

Total taxes per capita: $US2,044

Income taxes: $US1,056

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US884

Property taxes: $US5

Other taxes: $US99


44. Tennessee

Total taxes per capita: $US2,069

Income taxes: $US294

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,491

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US284


43. South Dakota

Wikimedia

Total taxes per capita: $US2,103

Income taxes: $US35

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,745

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US322


42. Alabama

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Total taxes per capita: $US2,137

Income taxes: $US850

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,076

Property taxes: $US81

Other taxes: $US129


41. Georgia

Arne Beruldsen/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US2,150

Income taxes: $US1,146

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US845

Property taxes: $US95

Other taxes: $US65


40. Oklahoma

Facebook/University of Central Oklahoma

Total taxes per capita: $US2,180

Income taxes: $US835

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US958

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US388


39. Colorado

Total taxes per capita: $US2,354

Income taxes: $US1,306

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US915

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US133


38. Louisiana

Total taxes per capita: $US2,371

Income taxes: $US692

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,497

Property taxes: $US15

Other taxes: $US166


37. Utah

f11photo/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US2,525

Income taxes: $US1,274

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,138

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US113


36. Montana

Total taxes per capita: $US2,527

Income taxes: $US1,240

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US549

Property taxes: $US261

Other taxes: $US477


35. Ohio

Total taxes per capita: $US2,599

Income taxes: $US719

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,679

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US201


34. Mississippi

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Total taxes per capita: $US2,608

Income taxes: $US752

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,672

Property taxes: $US10

Other taxes: $US175


33. North Carolina

Sharkshock/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US2,614

Income taxes: $US1,250

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,139

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US225


32. Virginia

BrianPlrwin/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US2,623

Income taxes: $US1,639

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US817

Property taxes: $US4

Other taxes: $US164


31. Idaho

Total taxes per capita: $US2,627

Income taxes: $US1,093

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,308

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US227


30. Nebraska

Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US2,658

Income taxes: $US1,298

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,254

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US105


29. Kentucky

Getty/Michael Loccisano

Total taxes per capita: $US2,673

Income taxes: $US1,089

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,268

Property taxes: $US159

Other taxes: $US156


28. Indiana

Khris Hale/Icon SMI/Corbis/Getty Images

Total taxes per capita: $US2,708

Income taxes: $US969

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,634

Property taxes: $US2

Other taxes: $US103


27. New Mexico

Total taxes per capita: $US2,766

Income taxes: $US685

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,470

Property taxes: $US39

Other taxes: $US572


26. West Virginia

Total taxes per capita: $US2,804

Income taxes: $US1,063

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,472

Property taxes: $US4

Other taxes: $US265


25. Kansas

Total taxes per capita: $US2,806

Income taxes: $US932

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,477

Property taxes: $US235

Other taxes: $US163


24. Wyoming

Total taxes per capita: $US2,847

Income taxes: $US0

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,316

Property taxes: $US473

Other taxes: $US1,058


23. Michigan

f11photo/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US2,874

Income taxes: $US1,072

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,375

Property taxes: $US213

Other taxes: $US214


22. Oregon

pikappa51/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US2,876

Income taxes: $US2,175

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US386

Property taxes: $US5

Other taxes: $US310


21. Nevada

Total taxes per capita: $US2,877

Income taxes: $US0

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US2,309

Property taxes: $US100

Other taxes: $US467


20. Pennsylvania

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US2,956

Income taxes: $US1,125

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,533

Property taxes: $US3

Other taxes: $US295


19. Illinois

Total taxes per capita: $US2,967

Income taxes: $US1,260

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,455

Property taxes: $US5

Other taxes: $US246


18. Rhode Island

P Meybruck/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US3,083

Income taxes: $US1,292

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,597

Property taxes: $US2

Other taxes: $US192


17. Iowa

Shutterstock/David Harmantas

Total taxes per capita: $US3,101

Income taxes: $US1,299

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,466

Property taxes: $US1

Other taxes: $US335


16. Wisconsin

Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US3,129

Income taxes: $US1,510

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,376

Property taxes: $US23

Other taxes: $US220


15. Arkansas

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US3,168

Income taxes: $US1,053

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,565

Property taxes: $US379

Other taxes: $US170


14. Maine

Total taxes per capita: $US3,168

Income taxes: $US1,280

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,621

Property taxes: $US29

Other taxes: $US239


13. Washington

Total taxes per capita: $US3,240

Income taxes: $US0

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US2,589

Property taxes: $US283

Other taxes: $US369


12. Maryland

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US3,569

Income taxes: $US1,664

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,527

Property taxes: $US128

Other taxes: $US250


11. New Jersey

Total taxes per capita: $US3,590

Income taxes: $US1,784

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,487

Property taxes: $US1

Other taxes: $US318


10. Delaware

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US3,731

Income taxes: $US1,484

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US579

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US1,669


9. California

Sean Pavone

Total taxes per capita: $US3,936

Income taxes: $US2,385

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,213

Property taxes: $US68

Other taxes: $US271


8. Massachusetts

yggdrasill/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US4,012

Income taxes: $US2,467

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,286

Property taxes: $US1

Other taxes: $US258


7. New York

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Total taxes per capita: $US4,014

Income taxes: $US2,451

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,278

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US285


6. Connecticut

Total taxes per capita: $US4,555

Income taxes: $US2,468

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,853

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US234


5. North Dakota

Andrew Burton / Getty

Total taxes per capita: $US4,587

Income taxes: $US504

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,786

Property taxes: $US6

Other taxes: $US2,292


4. Minnesota

Nick Lundgren/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US4,590

Income taxes: $US2,185

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,902

Property taxes: $US153

Other taxes: $US349


3. Hawaii

Total taxes per capita: $US4,924

Income taxes: $US1,597

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US3,058

Property taxes: $US0

Other taxes: $US268


2. Vermont

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Total taxes per capita: $US5,015

Income taxes: $US1,323

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US1,697

Property taxes: $US1,694

Other taxes: $US300


1. District of Columbia

Total taxes per capita: $US11,028

Income taxes: $US3,620

Sales and gross receipt taxes: $US2,681

Property taxes: $US3,655

Other taxes: $US1,071

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