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2017’s States with the Best & Worst Taxpayer ROI

From WalletHub

 

Tax Day can be a painful reminder of our large investment in the operation of federal, state and local governments, though many of us are unaware of their precise roles in everyday life. As a result, this creates a disconnect in the minds of taxpayers between the amount of money we should fork over every April and how much we ultimately deserve in return from our government.

Perhaps that’s why nearly three out of five U.S. adults feel they pay too much in taxes and why Americans estimate that Uncle Sam wastes slightly more than half of every tax dollar — higher than what they approximate state and local governments squander. We do know, however, that taxpayer return on investment, or ROI, varies significantly based on simple geography. Federal income-tax rates are uniform across the nation, yet some states receive far more federal funding than others. But federal taxes and support are only part of the story.

Ideological differences regarding the role of local taxation have resulted in dramatically different tax burdens. This begs the question of whether people in high-tax states benefit from expectedly superior government services or if low-tax states are more efficient or receive correspondingly low-quality services. In short, where do taxpayers get the most and least bang for their buck?

WalletHub sought to answer that question by contrasting state and local tax collections with the quality of the services residents receive in each of the 50 states within five categories: Education, Health, Safety, Economy, and Infrastructure & Pollution. Their data set includes a total of 23 key metrics. Read on for findings, methodology and commentary from a panel of experts.

Source: WalletHub

 

Source: WalletHub

 

‘Taxpayer ROI’ Rank State ‘Total Taxes Paid per Capita’ Rank* ‘Overall Government Services’ Rank
1 New Hampshire 2 5
2 South Dakota 9 16
3 Florida 3 34
4 Virginia 15 8
5 Alaska 1 50
6 Colorado 14 11
7 Utah 18 10
8 Missouri 5 37
9 Texas 12 28
10 Nebraska 28 4
11 Georgia 8 39
12 Idaho 19 18
13 Iowa 36 3
14 Arizona 11 38
15 Wisconsin 35 6
16 Tennessee 4 42
17 South Carolina 6 41
18 Kansas 29 13
19 Ohio 13 27
20 Indiana 22 20
21 Alabama 7 45
22 Maine 31 14
23 Kentucky 20 26
24 Michigan 24 24
25 Pennsylvania 26 22
26 North Carolina 17 36
27 Washington 34 21
28 Rhode Island 33 23
29 Oregon 21 33
30 Illinois 37 19
31 Montana 27 30
32 Oklahoma 16 40
33 New Jersey 40 12
34 Louisiana 10 48
35 Minnesota 47 1
36 Maryland 39 25
37 Massachusetts 43 15
38 Connecticut 46 7
39 Mississippi 23 46
40 West Virginia 30 43
41 Vermont 49 2
42 Nevada 25 47
43 Wyoming 45 17
44 Delaware 41 29
45 Arkansas 38 44
46 New York 42 31
47 California 44 32
48 New Mexico 32 49
49 Hawaii 48 35
50 North Dakota 50 9

*“Per Capita” includes the population aged 18 and older.

Go to the full report from WalletHub

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