New Yorkers bear biggest tax burden
Study finds N.Y. residents pay $131 for every $1,000 earned, Tennessee taxes residents the least.
September 9, 2004: 2:06 PM EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Yorkers pay the highest state and local taxes in the nation, shelling out nearly $131 for every $1,000 of income in 2002, according to a new study.Tennessee taxed its citizens the least, with residents paying just under $84 for every $1,000 of income, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.Massachusetts, ridiculed in the 1980s as "Taxachusetts," fell to 40th in 2002, as its residents only paid $96 in taxes for every $1,000 of income.
The Boston-based business group assessed states' competitiveness using the most recent data available, as taxes often play a big role in a company's decision to expand or relocate to a state. For years, New York business groups have argued that high taxes have hurt job growth.
"For Joe Blow, I think (the study) provides him with some context for his own feelings about what the tax burden feels like," said Cam Huff, senior research associate with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.Five states have no personal income tax, and at least two of them, Florida and Nevada, are among the fastest-growing in the nation.
New York's tax system is the nation's most progressive, however. Its residents paid just more than $44 in personal income taxes per $1,000 of income, up from about $2.50 from 1992.When the total bill for state and local taxes and fees was examined, the average U.S. resident paid out more than $152 per $1,000 of income. That was down $6 from a decade ago, which suggests some states cut levies fairly aggressively.
Arizona, for example, fell to 39th from 18th. It assessed just under $144 per $1,000 of income, about $20 less than in 1992.Hawaii has the most regressive tax system when it comes to sales and excise taxes, which sock the poor hardest. Hawaiians pay almost $64 per $1,000 of income in these levies. But the state also relies heavily on tourists, who get hit too.Oregonians paid the least in this category, at just under $9.
Property taxes, which can bedevil homeowners, were highest in Maine, at nearly $55 for every $1,000 of income. New Hampshire came in second at just over $51, trailed by New Jersey, where the levy topped $48.Alabama was last in this category. Its property taxes only added up to slightly more than $13 for every $1,000 of income. Delaware came in 49th, at just less than $16 per $1,000, while Arkansas took the 48th spot at just over $16.