States With Highest and Lowest Taxes

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5. Illinois
> Taxes paid as pct. of income: 11.0%
> Income per capita: $50,295 (15th highest)
> State income tax collections per capita: $1,237 (11th highest)
> Property tax collections per capita: $2,007 (10th highest)
> General sales tax collections per capita: $696 (17th lowest)

Illinois is one of only six states where the tax burden is heavier today than it was three decades ago. Illinois residents pay an average of 11.0% of their income per capita in state and local taxes, an increase from 10.6% in 1977. Despite the heavy tax burden in Illinois, the state’s pension system is severely underfunded. Illinois has just 41% of the funding needed to meet its pension obligations, tied with Kentucky as the smallest share of any state nationwide.

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4. Wisconsin
> Taxes paid as pct. of income: 11.0%
> Income per capita: $45,914 (25th highest)
> State income tax collections per capita: $1,225 (12th highest)
> Property tax collections per capita: $1,657 (13th highest)
> General sales tax collections per capita: $848 (23rd lowest)

Like the country as a whole, Wisconsin’s tax burden has declined over the past few decades. While in 1977 Wisconsin residents paid an average of 12.9% of their income per capita in state and local taxes, that figure has fallen to 11.0%. Despite the 1.9 percentage point decrease– more than twice the national decline — the state’s tax burden is one of the heaviest in the nation. One reason for the heavy tax burden is the high effective property tax rate, which at 1.7% of the average Wisconsin home value is the fourth largest share of any state.

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3. New Jersey
> Taxes paid as pct. of income: 12.2%
> Income per capita: $59,949 (3rd highest)
> State income tax collections per capita: $1,479 (7th highest)
> Property tax collections per capita: $3,065 (the highest)
> General sales tax collections per capita: $1,021 (16th highest)

At 12.2%, New Jersey residents pay more of their income per capita in taxes than those in nearly any other state. Despite a heavy tax burden, the state only has enough in its coffers to cover 42% of public employee pension liabilities. Due to the state’s near nation-leading pension deficit, Standard and Poor’s has downgraded the state’s credit rating 10 times since Gov. Chris Christie took office in 2010. New Jersey’s debt of $7,394 per resident is the fifth highest of any state in the country.

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2. Connecticut
> Taxes paid as pct. of income: 12.6%
> Income per capita: $68,704 (the highest)
> State income tax collections per capita: $2,279 (the highest)
> Property tax collections per capita: $2,774 (3rd highest)
> General sales tax collections per capita: $1,137 (8th highest)

With some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, Connecticut residents pay more in property taxes than in nearly any other state. Residents pay $2,774 per capita in property taxes, almost twice the national average. The state’s effective property tax rate of 1.7% of the value of a typical Connecticut home is the sixth highest of any state. Despite the high tax burden overall, the state’s pension system is relatively underfunded. Connecticut has just 51% of the funding for its pension obligations, the fourth smallest share nationwide.

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1. New York
> Taxes paid as pct. of income: 12.7%
> Income per capita: $58,670 (4th highest)
> State income tax collections per capita: $2,208 (2nd highest)
> Property tax collections per capita: $2,581 (5th highest)
> General sales tax collections per capita: $662 (14th lowest)

More than 40% of New York state residents live in New York City, which has some of the highest income tax rates of any metropolitan area. Roughly 32% of New York state and local tax revenue comes from individual income taxes, the fifth largest share in the country. Some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the nation are in Westchester County, where households pay some of the highest property taxes in the country. Across the state, total property taxes collected in a year equal 1.4% of the value of all New York residential property, one of the higher effective property tax rates in the country. Overall, nearly $13 out of every $100 earned in New York goes to state and local taxes, the highest tax burden nationwide.