Which states are best for tax payers?

Published: Monday, April 21 2014 7:34 p.m. MDT

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Tax day has come and gone, but the burden (or blessing, depending on your income bracket) of taxation is year round.

In case you were considering a change of scenery because of your state's overbearing taxes, a study by personal finance website Wallet Hub has rated each state according to overall tax burden.

The study also incorporated the Cost of Living Index and the average tax rate for the whole country to help determine which states were best overall if your top concern is getting the most out of your tax money.

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Salt Lake City, Utah

Wait, I thought Utahn's were the most overtaxed people in America.

Rochester, NY

Utterly meaningless analysis.

Good journalism would include adjusting for average incomes (still not great, but better than what was provided), some analysis of who bears the burden (in 49 states the poorest fifth of families bear a heavier state/local burden than the top 1%) and the services provided) and how much revenue comes from regressive sources (sales taxes) and progressive ones (generally income taxes, often property taxes).

Low taxes can mask higher private spending o buy services not provided, while higher total taxes may mean less overall cost where government provides services more efficiently.

Given that state and local subsidies now cost the average family of four $900 annually -- more than a week's take home pay for the median income family -- the growing diversion of tax dollars from public purposes to private gain also needs to be considered for the figures here to have meaning.

And why list only half the states?

Bored to the point of THIS!
Ogden, UT

Re Fred44

We are! The Utah legislature has managed to manipulate where the taxes come from. We pay small taxes, here, there... everywhere which masks the true overall rate.

Also keep in mind we're taxed based on income levels. This scale is based on dollar amounts. If we made more on average per person, we'd pay more!

I don't put much into these stories, because someone is always cooking the books to make a point.

Salt Lake City, Utah


Our state income tax is about as flat a tax as you get. We keep adding 12-15,000 students a year into our public schools, but our tax rate as a percentage of our income has dropped consistently over the last twenty years compared to other states.

Yes there are other ways to measure tax burden, but on the whole any way you look at it, Utah is one of the lowest taxed states in the country.

Mtn Tracker
Ephraim, UT

We keep adding x amount of students every year. Teachers keep saying it like we don't ad tax paying parents as well. We are taxed more per income level than most states and that's a fact! Utahn's have larger families and due to it we are taxed more. If you brought up the student thing I'm guessing your a teacher. Enjoy summer break! How long is it? What about fall break, Christmas break, Spring Break, and every other little holiday. What's the state average salary and benefits for teachers!?!

Northern, UT

This list, like most ranking-type lists, is very misleading. I'm just saying that we moved here from AZ. Kept the same job at the same salary, had the same deductions, etc., etc., even had the same company do my taxes and I ended up paying slightly more than 50% more in UT taxes than I did in AZ taxes.

You can measure it anyway you want, but in UT what you actually pay on April 15 is quite a bit more. The tax situation is this state is very deceptive. No wonder the Governor has a surplus!

Salt Lake City, Utah

Mtn. Tracker,

Yes we add two taxpaying parents and 4-6 children, doesn't really add up very well. Please share where you got your facts about the high taxes Utahn's pay, I guess I need to be enlightened because I thought all those extra kids resulted in deductions and you paid less.

Yes I am a teacher. When listing the days I don't teach and don't get paid for, why not include 52 Saturdays and Sundays because I don't get paid for those days either. In terms of salary, Utah teachers are among the lowest in the nation and most are taking home less money than they were five years ago.

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