One of my favorite thinktanks (The Tax Foundation – www.taxfoundation.org) a conservative tax research organization releases an annual report listing “tax freedom day” for each state. This is the day when you’ve finished paying your combined state, federal, and local taxes for the year.
As is usual with soundbite politics the data behind is somewhat interesting. Here’s their map of states:
If you root around in their data you find out that we’re this high because we’re a relatively high income state. Since the federal income tax is progressive, that means we pay more in total taxes than other places.
When you look at state and local taxes the picture is a little different. We’re #15 in their per-capita data, and #35 when you look at state and local taxes as a percentage of personal income.
When you look at their analysis of our “Business Tax Climate Index” we’re #9, and in this case lower numbers are better. A single soundbite is rarely a good way to analyze serious questions, though they’re fun to use.