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The Tax Foundation recently published a state-by-state study on state and local tax burdens. The study lists that tax burdens by state, including a ranking from highest to lowest state taxes.

New York was the “winner” with a state tax burden topping the charts at 12.8%. Alaska has the lowest tax burden at 7.0%. The average tax burden across all states is 9.9%. Here’s a map of the details:

 highest and lowest state taxes

Top 10 States with Highest Taxes

There are three states with taxes that exceed 12%. All in the top 10 are over 10%.

StateTax
New York12.8%
New Jersey12.4%
Connecticut12.3%
California11.2%
Wisconsin11.1%
Rhode Island10.9%
Minnesota10.8%
Massachusetts10.4%
Maine10.3%
Pennsylvania10.2%

Top 10 States with Lowest Taxes

And here’s the list of the 10 states with the lowest taxes:

StateTax
South Carolina8.4%
Nevada8.2%
Alabama8.2%
New Hampshire8.1%
Texas7.9%
Wyoming7.8%
Louisiana7.8%
Tennessee7.7%
South Dakota7.6%
Alaska7.0%

And of course, the above tax burden is on top of federal taxes, which currently top out at 35%.

Author Bio

Total Articles: 1080
Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Article comments

5 comments

Awesome, I live in a state with the highest taxes!! Wait, that’s not a good thing.

Does this only take into account state and local taxes? I’m curious if sales taxes are factored into this or not. Since I’m in one of the highest, I would hate to see what sales tax would do to the numbers if not already accounted for.

Awesome, I live in a state with the highest taxes!! Wait, that’s not a good thing.

Does this only take into account state and local taxes? I’m curious if sales taxes are factored into this or not. Since I’m in one of the highest, I would hate to see what sales tax would do to the numbers if not already accounted for.

jim says:

The state/local tax burdens are figured by dividing ALL the taxes collected in the state / all the income. Including sales taxes, income taxes, property taxes, excise taxes ( booze, gas, etc), and corporate taxes.
So this is not similar to a top 35% income tax margin on the federal level. Using the same idea the ‘burden’ of the federal level is around 18.2%. ($2.3T revenue vs 12.6T personal income in 2010).

Also note the states spread their taxes around in a wide variety of ways. Look at Alaska for example. They cite a burden of 7% yet Alaska has no income tax and no state wide sales tax. AND the state distributes a dividend annually to each resident from their permanent fund. Its quite easy to have a 0% state tax burden in Alaska or near to it, but the average is 7%. I assume primarily due to corporate / property taxes.

Penny says:

What causes the high (liberal leaning) states to have the higher tax rates? Is it welfare and other aid?

Mandingo says:

Ugghhh i live in a state with low taxes but nearest town for shopping has highest taxes. PITA always having to wait in line for tax discount override on EVERYTHING