While there are many ways to show how much is collected in taxes by state governments, our Index is designed to show how well states structure their tax systems by focusing on the how more than the how much in recognition of the fact that there are better and worse ways to raise revenue.
The federal tax code remains a major source of frustration and controversy for Americans, and a hindrance to economic growth and opportunity. Other countries, such as Estonia, have proven that sufficient tax revenue can be collected in a less frustrating and more efficient way.
While there are many factors that affect a country’s economic performance, taxes play an important role. A well-structured tax code is easy for taxpayers to comply with and can promote economic development while raising sufficient revenue for a government’s priorities.
Tax burdens rose across the country as pandemic-era economic changes caused taxable income, activities, and property values to rise faster than net national product. Tax burdens in 2020, 2021, and 2022 are all higher than in any other year since 1978.
States are unprepared for the ongoing shift to remote and flexible work arrangements, or for the industries and activities of today, to say nothing of tomorrow. In some states, moreover, existing tax provisions exacerbate the impact of high inflation and contribute to the supply chain crisis.
A landmark comparison of corporate tax costs in all 50 states, Location Matters provides a comprehensive calculation of real-world tax burdens, going beyond headline rates to demonstrate how tax codes impact businesses and offering policymakers a road map to improvement.
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According to the corporate tax component of the 2021 International Tax Competitiveness Index, Latvia and Estonia have the best corporate tax systems in the OECD.
Top Combined Capital Gains Tax Rates Would Average Nearly 37 Percent Under Build Back Better Framework
Under the Build Back Better framework, six states and D.C. would face combined top marginal capital gains tax rates of more than 40 percent, nearing the top rate among OECD countries.
Taxes and fees on the typical American wireless consumer increased again this year, to a record 24.96 percent.
In the past three years, eight European OECD countries changed their top personal income tax rate, of which four of them cut their top personal income tax rates.
As Congress considers several tax proposals designed to raise taxes on high-income earners, it’s worth considering the distribution of the existing tax code.
Top Tax Rate on Pass-through Business Income Would Exceed 50 Percent in Most States Under House Dems’ Plan
Under the House Democrats’ reconciliation plan, the top tax rate on pass-through business income would exceed 50 percent in most states. Pass-through businesses, such as sole proprietorships, S corporations, and partnerships, make up a majority of businesses and majority of private sector employment in the United States.
Corporations in Most States Would Face Income Tax Rate Exceeding 30 Percent Under Ways and Means Proposal
Under the House Democrats’ tax plan, companies in 21 states and D.C. would face a higher corporate tax rate than in any country in the OECD.
Patent box regimes (also referred to as intellectual property, or IP, regimes) provide lower effective tax rates on income derived from IP. Most commonly, eligible types of IP are patents and software copyrights. Currently, 14 of the 27 EU member states have a patent box regime.
The Biden corporate tax plan would disproportionately harm these congressional districts and make the U.S. less internationally competitive. These tax hikes, along with individual tax increases, would also raise taxes on net for 96 percent of congressional districts by 2031 after these temporary credits expire in 2025.
Ireland and France levy the highest excise duties on cigarettes in the EU, at €8.42 ($9.60) and €6.61 ($7.53) per 20-cigarette pack, respectively. This compares to an EU average of €3.34 ($3.80). Bulgaria (€1.81 or $2.06) and Poland (€2.08 or $2.37) levy the lowest excise duties.
The six counties with the highest median property tax payments all have bills exceeding $10,000—Bergen, Essex, and Union Counties in New Jersey, and Nassau, Rockland, and Westchester counties in New York. All six are near New York City, as is the next highest, Passaic County, New Jersey ($9,881).
The highest excise duties are applied in Finland, Sweden, and Ireland, where the rates for a standard-size bottle of liquor are €14.10 ($16.08), €13.80 ($15.73), and €11.92 ($13.59), respectively.
It is important to understand how the SALT deduction’s benefits have changed since the SALT cap was put into place in 2018 before repealing the cap or making the deduction more generous. Doing so would disproportionately benefit higher earners, making the tax code more regressive.
How do current federal corporate tax rates and brackets compare historically?
How do current federal individual income tax rates and brackets compare historically?
Reviewing the sources of personal income shows that the personal income tax is largely a tax on labor, primarily because our personal income is mostly derived from labor. However, varied sources of capital income also play a role in American incomes. While capital income sources are small compared to labor income, they are still significant and need to be accounted for, both by policymakers trying to collect revenue efficiently and by those attempting to understand the distribution of personal income.
As one might expect, southern European countries that are well-known for their wines—such as France, Greece, Portugal, and Spain—either don’t tax it or do so at a very low rate. But travel north and you’ll see countries that tend to levy taxes on wine—and often hefty taxes.
The original goal of AMTs—to prevent deductions from eliminating income tax liability altogether—can be accomplished best by simplifying the existing tax structure, not by creating an alternative tax which adds complexity and lacks transparency and neutrality.
Neither Anchorage, Alaska, nor Portland, Oregon, impose any state or local sales taxes. Honolulu, Hawaii, has a low rate of 4.5 percent and several other major cities, including Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, keep overall rates modest.