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The Ultimate State Tax Ranking

Previously we ranked each state in terms of State Income Tax. Today we go further and finally settle the often-debated question "Which States have the highest OVERALL taxes?" We include not just the major categories of Property, Sales, and Income taxes, but also taxes on food, real estate transfer fees, and automobile sales, registration, and excise taxes (lookin' at you, Rhode Island!).

These rankings calculate the overall percentage of one's income that go to taxes, using the baseline of a taxpayer filing single, earning $60,000, taking the standard deduction, with a median-priced home (in that state) and mid-level car valued at $25,000. 

Here are the 10 states with the highest overall state and local taxes, from highest to lowest, along with the percentage of the taxpayer's income.  The state tax burden ranges from 17.8% in California to only 4.4% in Wyoming.

Click here for a detailed spreadsheet of all the taxes, the effective rates and the dollar amount of each tax.

1. California - 17.8%
2. New Jersey - 17.7%
3. Massachusetts - 15.6%
4. New York - 15.5%
5. Connecticut - 14.5%
6. Rhode Island - 14.5%
7. Illinois - 14.2%
8. Oregon - 13.3%
9. District of Columbia - 13.3%
10. Minnesota - 12.5%

Here are the five states with the lowest overall taxes, starting with the lowest.

1. Wyoming - 4.4%
2. Tennessee - 4.8%
3. South Dakota - 6.1%
4. Florida - 6.4%
5. Alaska - 6.5%

For a complete spreadsheet of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including the raw data from each tax category and full methodology, click here.

This list used data that is newly available in our Premium Cost of Living Calculator. To get started, sign up here.


Founder and President Bert Sperling and Data Specialist Nick Arnold had fun making this video on Climate Data at our Portland, OR headquarters.

Nick shows us some new visuals he developed to show hurricane frequency and the effects they have on US cities.

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