State and Local Individual Income Tax Collections Per Capita (Fiscal Year 2012)

May 28, 2015

States depend on a variety of sources for tax revenue, but one of the most common are individual income taxes. This week’s map shows state and local combined individual income tax collections per person in the 2012 fiscal year (the latest data available).

This category includes broad-based taxes on wage and salary income, as well as taxes on specific types of income (such as investment income taxes on interest and dividend income). Most states that levy an income tax have the broad-based, former type, but a few states (namely New Hampshire and Tennessee) only tax investment income. Six states have no individual income taxes (Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming).

On average, state and local governments collect $983 per person from individual income taxes—but some states differ significantly from this trend. New York collects the highest, coming in at $2,431 per person. Connecticut follows, with $2,053 per person. Rounding out the top ten are Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Minnesota, California, Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia.

Among that state that levy income taxes (excluding no-income tax states), Tennessee and New Hampshire collect the least per person ($28 and $62, respectively). This is because these states have narrow income tax bases, taxing only investment income. Among states with more broad-based income taxes on wage income, Arizona collects the least per person ($475), followed by Mississippi ($503), Louisiana ($539), and New Mexico ($553).

Individual income taxes tend to be a state-level tax—91 percent of combined state and local collections in the U.S. are levied at the state level. Only 13 states collect local income taxes, but some of these obtain a sizeable share of local-level government taxes from this source (such as local governments in Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New York. For more information on local income taxation, see this report from 2011. For an example of the complicated nature of local income tax systems see, this testimony before Ohio’s House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee. For more information on local income taxation, see this report from 2011. For an example of the complicated nature of local income tax systems see, this testimony before Ohio’s House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee.

Tax collections data comes from the Census Bureau’s State and Local Government Finance database, which can be found here.


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