Ever wondered how your state ranks in terms of taxes collected and owed? The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit Washington-based organization, has released a booklet that breaks it all down. (Access the booklet by clicking here.)
Because this blog is based in Utah, I paid particular attention to the figures concerning that state. Generally, however, states in the Northeast seem to be the highest taxed states, while those in the South taxed the least.
Connecticut has the highest per capita state and local tax burden at $6,984. That’s the amount every man, woman and child there pays each year, when the amount of tax collected is divided by the population.
The figure doesn’t include federal taxes.
Mississippi is at the other end of that scale at $2,625. I’ll let you judge which state you would rather live in, which may have little to do with these figures.
Utah comes in 36th, with a per capita state and local tax burden of $3,181.
Was I surprised by any of the data?
Well, conventional wisdom holds that Utah has the highest number of people per household in the nation. That’s true, but the spread between Utah and other states is astounding. Utah has 3.13 people per household, as of 2011. Hawaii came in second at 2.97.
Given that, it’s a bit surprising that Utah’s per capita income is not the worst in the nation. It ranks 46th, at $33,509. Considering the size of families in the state, this is not a good measure of relative salaries.
I was surprised that Utah’s gasoline tax rates rank in the middle of the pack, at 27th. The state hasn’t raised gas taxes since the late ‘90s. Bureaucrats and other experts are constantly telling me the state is falling far behind its highway needs because of this. Maybe this just means every other state is falling behind, as well.
When the amount of state and local government debt is divided out, Utah ranks 36th. Every man, woman and child owes $6,687 as his or her share. New York comes in first with $16,364, and Idaho is theleast indebted per capita at $3,919.
Utah has a nearly dead even proportion of property, sales and income tax revenue, with each making up roughly between 25 percent and 27 percent of the total. A series of other taxes and fees makes up the rest.
The study ranks Utah as having the 10th best tax climate for business.
Also of interest is a breakdown of the amount of federal income tax paid by income level. The much-maligned 1 percent pays 37.4 percent of all income taxes paid. The top 10 percent pays 70.6 percent.
The bottom 50 percent, on the other hand, pays only 2.4 percent. Mitt Romney’s 47 percent? Well, it pays something less than that.
This puts an interesting light on calls for the rich to pay their “fair share.”