Adam McCann, Financial Writer  •  Jun 24, 2020

This year, Uncle Sam will take his cut of the past year’s earnings a bit later than usual, on July 15. This three-month delay gave Americans some extra time to get their financial situation in order following the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many taxpayers are undoubtedly still wondering how this year’s Tax Day will affect their finances. Since the tax code is so complicated and has rules based on individual household characteristics, it’s hard for the average person to tell.

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.

For more fun (or not so fun) facts about 2020’s tax landscape, check out WalletHub’s Tax Day Facts infographic.

Main Findings

Source: WalletHub

Overall Tax Burden by State

This year, Uncle Sam will take his cut of the past year’s earnings a bit later than usual, on July 15. This three-month delay gave Americans some extra time to get their financial situation in order following the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many taxpayers are undoubtedly still wondering how this year’s Tax Day will affect their finances. Since the tax code is so complicated and has rules based on individual household characteristics, it’s hard for the average person to tell.

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.

For more fun (or not so fun) facts about 2020’s tax landscape, check out WalletHub’s Tax Day Facts infographic.

Ask the Experts

For more insight on the differences in state tax policies, we asked a panel of taxation experts to weigh in with their thoughts on the following key questions:

  1. What state and local tax instruments are most fair? Least fair?
  2. What’s the relationship between state tax burden and economic growth?
  3. Should states and localities tax property at different marginal rates like income?
  4. What makes some state and local tax systems better able to weather economic downturns?
  5. What are the most effective ways for state and local governments to recover losses in tax revenues caused by the pandemic?

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

 

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the Tax Policy Center.

source article:https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-highest-lowest-tax-burden/20494/