10 U.S. States with the Highest Tax Burden

Name the states with the greatest tax collection as a percent of personal income.
Includes property, sales, and income tax
Source: WalletHub
As of March 31, 2021
Quiz by FlabberBapper
Rate:
Last updated: August 21, 2021
First submittedDecember 24, 2016
Times taken16,136
Average score80.0%
Rating4.22
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State
12.8
New York
12.2
Hawaii
10.8
Vermont
10.5
Maine
10.4
Connecticut
%
State
10.0
Minnesota
10.0
New Jersey
9.7
Rhode Island
9.5
Illinois
9.5
California
+19
Level 71
May 25, 2019
So proud of my former home, Taxachusetts, for getting out of the top ten! (I wonder how *that* ever happened!)
+4
Level 77
Jun 14, 2019
First state I tried, for exactly that reason.
+2
Level 44
Aug 10, 2019
I was shocked when that didn't come up
+8
Level 69
Aug 25, 2021
And I'm quite happy paying more taxes as it ensures that all my fellow Danes can get an education and get healthcare and not get bankrupt if they get sick.
+2
Level 73
Sep 2, 2021
That's commie talk, brother. Muricans don't care for that, only for freedums!
+1
Level 69
Aug 25, 2021
I also tries Mass first, and I even live in one of the top three.
+6
Level 80
May 25, 2019
Income tax levels are surprisingly low over there, in the UK we hover around 20% + 12% national insurance
+23
Level 56
May 25, 2019
This is just state tax, there’s federal tax on top.
+6
Level 87
May 25, 2019
Still cheaper than state income, federal income, sales, property, excise and fuel tax plus "fees" for everything the government requires you to do. Add in private health insurance as a wage cost to employees you never even see included as an a wage benefit and we're blowing that 33% out of the water.
+11
Level ∞
May 30, 2019
If you live in New York City you could end up paying about 50% of your income in tax, which is similar to the highest European countries such as Denmark or (shudder) Belgium.
+67
Level 80
Jun 14, 2019
Thankfully New York is in America, where we have our freedom from social services like government-guaranteed health insurance, retirement, vacation, early childhood care, college tuition, elder care, and so on...You really have to feel bad for the Danes and Belgians, who are forced to get something in return for their taxes.
+10
Level 71
Jun 14, 2019
@BobSaget all those things are nice, but why should I have to pay for yours
+24
Level 61
Jun 14, 2019
Because you're a nice goon and you care about your neighbors. And it end up being less expensive for yourself given the cost of your current plan and the cost you already pay in taxes for America's convoluted health care system. That being said, there is something to be said for America's freedom of choice and the ability to pay your way into a better plan.
+39
Level 80
Jun 15, 2019
@CartoJuggernaut: for the same reason I pay for the fire department to put out a fire at your house, and not just mine.
+7
Level 63
Jun 17, 2019
@BobSaget

Running a fire department on an individual or household basis is nearly impossible. The same cannot be said for your medical insurance, paid time off, and retirement.

+21
Level 58
Jun 17, 2019
@CartoJuggernaut because the math works. If we all have government-run healthcare the government has negotiating power with pharmaceutical companies and hospitals that private healthcare companies never had. This means cheaper healthcare costs for all of us. Thus your increase in taxes will be less than you were paying for private health insurance. Also, it's absurd to think that you're never going to use healthcare, childcare, college, or vacation in your life or your children's. Not to mention that you're already paying for services you don't use on a daily basis like public education, policing, fire and so much more through the government.
+6
Level 43
Aug 25, 2021
@CartoJuggernaut -- almost two years too late, but because lack of those services are a big factor in why the US has a life expectancy that is significantly lower than the rest of the heavyweight industrialized nations, the Channel Islands, Martinique, Malta, Greece, Guadeloupe, Portugal, Slovenia, Réunion, Cyprus, and lower also than the U.S. Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Guam, Chile, Qatar, Puerto Rico, French Guiana, Maldives, Mayotte, Barbados, Curaçao, Lebanon, Cuba and Estonia (https://www.worldometers.info/demographics/life-expectancy/). The factors that lead to that lower life expectancy affect the quality of life of all people in the US.
+1
Level 74
Aug 29, 2021
Why is New York City so expensive? Because it's worth it.
+1
Level 85
May 25, 2019
Wasn't expecting a red state (IA) on this list.
+16
Level 80
May 31, 2019
Iowa isn't a red state. It's purple and has a long history of progressiveness. It was one of the first states to legalize gay marriage, and was the home of arguably one of the most progressive political figures of American politics, Henry Wallace.
+2
Level 78
Jun 17, 2019
Iowa also has an excellent public education system, something that voters in many other states seem reluctant to pay for.

And one of Iowa's senators for 30 years, Tom Harkin, was quite liberal and the author of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

+2
Level 69
Aug 25, 2021
I don't know about "one of the first." I mean, before Iowa legalized it, several states allowed it, then banned it, and some allowed it again. Iowa was something like the 14th state to explicitly allow it, if you discount the fact that so many states that allowed it ended up banning it again before Iowa even initially allowed it.
+2
Level 76
May 26, 2019
How about a quiz on which states (or better yet, countries) have the lowest tax rates for the wealthy and on companies?
+3
Level ∞
May 30, 2019
Ireland seems to be a popular choice for corporations such as Google and Apple.
+2
Level 69
Jun 5, 2019
Well, since you mentioned it. I made a version with the lowest tax burden here.
+5
Level 77
Jun 18, 2019
Compare this list with "best states to live in/raise children" I bet there is a correlation.
+1
Level 66
Sep 4, 2019
What's the lowest?
+1
Level 69
Sep 4, 2019
Good question, you can find that answer out in the follow-up quiz I made linked in an earlier comment
+1
Level 72
Apr 12, 2021
Funny that NYC is a type in for New York state. I assume it is auto because of New York although in this situation it is not referring to the city.
+1
Level 30
Jul 17, 2021
Hawaii?!?!?!
+1
Level 82
Aug 21, 2021
Do all of these states have a flat tax, or is this an average, or the rate for the lowest bracket, highest bracket...?
+1
Level 79
Aug 25, 2021
This is an average.

When you break it out by income bracket, a lot of things show up that are contrary to popular opinion.

For example, if you look at non-elderly taxpayers in California or Texas, you'll see that for the bottom 60% of earners, California offers lower taxes than Texas. The bottom 20% there is a very large difference in particular. It's only the wealthy (really about the top 5-10%) where California actually taxes more.

Most states are actually regressive that way in taxation - very few states tax the bottom 20% less than they do the top 1% as a percent of their income (CA, DE, MN, NJ, VT). But the press reports based on taxes for the wealthy or averages, which are skewed towards what is done for the wealthy rather than the median.

+1
Level 63
Aug 22, 2021
What is the federal income tax rate in the US?
+1
Level 79
Aug 25, 2021
It varies based on amount and type of income.

For example, the bottom 20% of households by income pay a total federal tax burden of about 1.3% on average (-10.9% on income taxes, 9.4% on payroll taxes, 0.6% on corporate taxes, 2.2% on excise taxes). The top 1%, by comparison, pay an average of 31.6% (24.4% in income taxes, 2.2% on payroll taxes, 4.8% on corporate taxes, 0.2% on excise taxes).

You can also structure your income to avoid taxes, particularly if you're wealthy. I don't do anything unusual, but my investment income is generally taxed between 0% and 15%. My earned income I'm in a 22% tax bracket, but pay an effective total income tax rate of about 12%.

Confused? That's all thanks to the CPA lobby. :)

+1
Level 82
Aug 22, 2021
aka the civilized states
+6
Level 69
Aug 22, 2021
As a Californian, no
+1
Level 87
Aug 23, 2021
How bourgeois of you
+3
Level 67
Aug 25, 2021
thats why commiefornians move to other states
+1
Level 83
Aug 23, 2021
What is the logic behind Minnesota being on the list? It was far down my list so I missed it.
+1
Level 69
Aug 23, 2021
Did you even look at the source before commenting?
+1
Level 87
Aug 25, 2021
Taxes are terrible in MN, that's why it's on the list. As bad as NJ!!
+3
Level 67
Aug 25, 2021
all demoncrats
+3
Level 83
Aug 25, 2021
That doesn't make you sound insane at all.
+2
Level 73
Aug 25, 2021
Can't handle the truth...huh ?
+1
Level 53
Aug 25, 2021
The fact that Democrats is misspelled is so telling it's hilarious.
+2
Level 69
Aug 25, 2021
I believe he intentionally spelled it that way. *demon*crats. But still funny with how weak of an insult it is.
+3
Level 83
Aug 25, 2021
yeah, totally tbolt, you got me. An analysis every bit as clever and on-point as I would expect, coming from you.
+4
Level 66
Aug 25, 2021
So... blue states, then? Shocker.
+4
Level 53
Aug 25, 2021
I mean yeah that shouldn't be a surprise. But also many of the states with the highest life expectancies, HDI, Quality of Life, equality, best education systems, the list goes on.
+2
Level 83
Aug 25, 2021
but if you measure in terms of truck nuts per capita these are also the poorest states in the country.
+1
Level 83
Aug 25, 2021
I wonder whose interests its in to try and convince people that healthcare, education, jobs, infrastructure, quality of life, etc is less important than lowering taxes.
+2
Level 55
Aug 25, 2021
This whole chat is just a political debate... shocker
+1
Level 87
Aug 25, 2021
If Quizmaster’s true to his word, we should expect a large chunk of comments to be deleted soon.
+1
Level 27
Aug 25, 2021
yeah lol
+1
Level 55
Aug 25, 2021
So I might as well join in, people argue that high taxes are bad and the response is it makes a better quality of life which is true in most situations but, in reality, we wouldn't need as much taxes if everyone was a better person as in raising their children (CPA), and drug companies weren't so cruel with their marked-up prices, and good education wasn't so hard to find but that's a perfect world and in reality, humans are flawed so our governments have to balance excessive taxes with good quality of life... or at least I think.

p.s. : I know there are exceptions like if a parent physically isn't able to raise children but still...

+3
Level 83
Aug 26, 2021
but that's sort of the anarchist/libertarian philosophy to governance (and why it fails from the onset): because people aren't all wonderful, selfless, and responsible. Corporations are greedy, cruel, and corrupt. And there will always be someone who seizes whatever power, wealth, or authority that others voluntarily surrender, or abuse whatever is given to them, if there is nothing in place to stop them from doing so. Is it possible for there to be overreach in the opposite direction leading to tyranny or oppression? Laws or law enforcement that are overly draconian and onerous and more stifling than helpful? Can bureaucracy get out of hand and needlessly self-perpetuating and self-enlarging? Yeah, of course. But a healthy synthesis will never be all one or the other. Those arguing otherwise are either naive or have an agenda and ulterior motives.
+1
Level 67
Aug 26, 2021
Thanks, kalbahamut. Perfect answer
+1
Level 55
Aug 26, 2021
Yeah, that was a pretty amazing response, but I actually like taxes now that I think about it because... well, you know what they say, without them the only certainty would be d e a t h.