Today is May 6, the date in 1862 when Henry David Thoreau passed away. Thoreau famously refused to pay his taxes because of his opposition to war and slavery, spending a night in jail until someone paid his overdue taxes...
- Map: State-Local Tax Burdens and Ranks by State, 2009
Map: State-Local Tax Burdens and Ranks by State, 2009
For nearly two decades the Tax Foundation has published an estimate of the combined state-local tax burden shouldered by the residents of each of the 50 states. For each state, we calculate the total amount paid by the residents in taxes, then divide those taxes by the state's total income to compute a "tax burden." We make this calculation not only for the most recent year but also for earlier years because tax and income data are revised periodically by government agencies.
The goal is to focus not on the tax collectors but on the taxpayers. That is, we answer the question: What percentage of their income are the residents of this state paying in state and local taxes? We are not trying to answer the question: How much money have state and local governments collected?
More information on state-local tax burdens: Methodology working paper
Tax Foundation Special Report No. 189, "State-Local Tax Burdens Fall in 2009 as Tax Revenues Shrink Faster than Income."
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