Special Report

Counties Where Families Need to Budget the Most for Taxes in Every State

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Tax time is upon us, eliciting exasperation and anxiety among taxpayers. As much as people detest paying taxes, they are needed so that governments can fund necessary services. Among the many services and public projects, taxes are used to build roads, pay for schools and educators’ salaries, and defend our nation. (These are the most common tax mistakes people make.)

Whether it is property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, or other levies, just about everyone pays at least one form of taxes. Local tax decisions are determined by the needs, policies, and priorities of each locality. Because of this, the tax burden can vary from state to state and county to county.

To determine the county with the highest tax bill in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on annual expenses from the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator. Counties were ranked based on the estimated annual tax costs for a two-parent, two-child family in 2020. EPI’s tax estimates are based on the National Bureau of Economic Research’s TAXSIM microsimulation model.

We added data on total annual expenses for a family of four, also from the EPI, which include the estimated cost of housing, food, transportation, health care, child care, and other expenses necessary to attain a modest yet adequate standard of living. Median household income figures are five-year estimates from the Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.

In four of the counties on the list, annual tax expenses for a family of four exceed $20,000. San Mateo County in the San Francisco Bay area of California levies the highest tax amount of any county in the country — a whopping $33,864 in annual tax expenses for a family of four. Residents are able to absorb the high tax amount because the county’s median household income is $128,091, the highest of any county on the list.

While in San Mateo County residents pay 26% of their income in taxes, in New York County, home to New York City, the tax burden is even higher. In New York County, annual tax expenses total $28,584, or 32% of median household income. (These are states with the highest and lowest property taxes.)

The tax load is significantly lighter in other counties. In Delaware County, Ohio; Williamson County, Tennessee; and Rockwall County, Texas, about 8% of residents’ income goes to taxes.

Click here to see the counties where families need to budget the most for taxes in every state

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Alabama: Shelby County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $12,156
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $94,008
> Median household income: $78,889
> Major city: Birmingham, AL

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Alaska: Aleutians West Census Area
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $11,184
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $104,340
> Median household income: $87,443
> Major city: Unalaska, AK

Arizona: Coconino County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $11,640
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $99,432
> Median household income: $59,000
> Major city: Flagstaff, AZ

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Arkansas: Saline County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $8,352
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $78,276
> Median household income: $66,876
> Major city: Benton, AR

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California: San Mateo County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $33,864
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $172,884
> Median household income: $128,091
> Major city: Daly City, CA

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Colorado: Douglas County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $17,244
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $116,472
> Median household income: $121,393
> Major city: Aurora, CO

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Connecticut: Fairfield County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $17,568
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $113,508
> Median household income: $97,539
> Major city: Bridgeport, CT

Delaware: New Castle County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $11,364
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $93,588
> Median household income: $75,275
> Major city: Wilmington, DE

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Florida: Monroe County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $12,852
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $111,948
> Median household income: $72,012
> Major city: Key West, FL

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Georgia: Forsyth County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $11,988
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $94,080
> Median household income: $112,834
> Major city: Cumming, GA

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Hawaii: Honolulu County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $20,508
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $121,668
> Median household income: $87,722
> Major city: Honolulu, HI

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Idaho: Blaine County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $11,436
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $93,888
> Median household income: $64,627
> Major city: Hailey, ID

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Illinois: DuPage County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $14,604
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $103,344
> Median household income: $94,930
> Major city: Chicago, IL

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Indiana: Hamilton County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $12,444
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $99,576
> Median household income: $98,880
> Major city: Carmel, IN

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Iowa: Dallas County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $10,632
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $85,680
> Median household income: $88,368
> Major city: West Des Moines, IA

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Kansas: Johnson County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $11,388
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $93,096
> Median household income: $91,650
> Major city: Overland Park, KS

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Kentucky: Boone County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $11,652
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $90,600
> Median household income: $82,838
> Major city: Florence, KY

Louisiana: Plaquemines Parish
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $10,452
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $89,652
> Median household income: $65,234
> Major city: Belle Chasse, LA

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Maine: Cumberland County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $12,552
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $99,132
> Median household income: $76,014
> Major city: Portland, ME

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Maryland: Montgomery County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $13,968
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $104,100
> Median household income: $111,812
> Major city: Germantown, MD

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Massachusetts: Norfolk County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $23,040
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $136,956
> Median household income: $105,320
> Major city: Quincy, MA

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Michigan: Leelanau County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $12,708
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $99,000
> Median household income: $67,330
> Major city: Traverse City, MI

Minnesota: Washington County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $15,456
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $108,108
> Median household income: $97,584
> Major city: Woodbury, MN

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Mississippi: Rankin County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $8,508
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $79,200
> Median household income: $68,310
> Major city: Jackson, MS

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Missouri: Platte County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $10,356
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $87,636
> Median household income: $82,448
> Major city: Kansas City, MO

Montana: Gallatin County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $11,724
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $92,028
> Median household income: $70,124
> Major city: Bozeman, MT

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Nebraska: Stanton County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $11,268
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $94,044
> Median household income: $64,808
> Major city: Stanton, NE

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Nevada: Douglas County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $8,076
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $88,860
> Median household income: $71,415
> Major city: Gardnerville Ranchos, NV

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New Hampshire: Rockingham County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $8,148
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $89,316
> Median household income: $93,962
> Major city: Derry, NH

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New Jersey: Morris County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $16,344
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $115,980
> Median household income: $117,298
> Major city: Morristown, NJ

Source: Photographer and original uploader is/was TedE / Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico: Los Alamos County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $9,948
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $87,756
> Median household income: $119,266
> Major city: Los Alamos, NM

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New York: New York County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $28,584
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $153,312
> Median household income: $89,812
> Major city: New York, NY

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North Carolina: Buncombe County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $12,540
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $96,696
> Median household income: $55,032
> Major city: Asheville, NC

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North Dakota: Morton County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $9,708
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $94,476
> Median household income: $72,778
> Major city: Mandan, ND

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Ohio: Delaware County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $9,396
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $87,108
> Median household income: $111,411
> Major city: Columbus, OH

Oklahoma: Canadian County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $9,948
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $85,908
> Median household income: $73,591
> Major city: Oklahoma City, OK

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Oregon: Washington County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $18,204
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $108,840
> Median household income: $86,626
> Major city: Portland, OR

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Pennsylvania: Chester County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $14,892
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $109,068
> Median household income: $104,161
> Major city: West Chester, PA

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Rhode Island: Newport County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $12,336
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $101,208
> Median household income: $84,282
> Major city: Newport, RI

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South Carolina: Beaufort County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $9,444
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $85,092
> Median household income: $71,430
> Major city: Hilton Head Island, SC

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South Dakota: Custer County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $8,520
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $91,428
> Median household income: $64,556
> Major city: Custer, SD

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Tennessee: Williamson County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $10,212
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $99,792
> Median household income: $111,196
> Major city: Franklin, TN

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Texas: Rockwall County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $9,156
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $94,740
> Median household income: $105,956
> Major city: Dallas, TX

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Utah: Summit County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $14,580
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $103,548
> Median household income: $106,973
> Major city: Park City, UT

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Vermont: Chittenden County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $16,500
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $116,256
> Median household income: $76,316
> Major city: Burlington, VT

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Virginia: Arlington County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $18,576
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $118,620
> Median household income: $122,604
> Major city: Arlington, VA

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Washington: King County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $12,300
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $109,428
> Median household income: $99,158
> Major city: Seattle, WA

West Virginia: Putnam County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $13,812
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $99,228
> Median household income: $63,954
> Major city: Teays Valley, WV

Wisconsin: Pierce County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $12,444
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $96,912
> Median household income: $73,873
> Major city: River Falls, WI

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Wyoming: Teton County
> Annual tax expenses, family of four: $14,568
> Total annual expenses, family of four: $119,616
> Median household income: $87,053
> Major city: Jackson, WY

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