Elections & Government
Depending on where you live, you might be paying more, less, or nothing at all in state income taxes.
Here, we’ll explore where the highest and lowest state income taxes are, as well as how much of a person’s paycheck those states collect in taxes on average.
If you live and work in the US, you pay income tax to the federal government—but you also might live in a state that collects state income tax from your paycheck, too.
State income taxes are collected from residents’ income each year. These taxes are separate from federal income taxes, which the federal government collects. The money collected from state income taxes is generally used to fund various state services and programs, such as education, infrastructure, public safety, and healthcare.
The amount a person owes in state income taxes depends on their income level and the tax rate set by their state. Some states have a flat tax rate, which means everyone pays the same percentage of their income in taxes, no matter how much they earn. Other states have a progressive tax rate, meaning that people who earn more pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes.
Then there are seven states — Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming — that do not collect income taxes at all.
Using data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, USAFacts has examined how Americans’ income tax burdens — the proportion of their income paid in state income taxes — measure up. (You can check out the full report on Americans' tax burdens here.)
For this report, USAFacts ranked the states by tax revenues as a percentage of people’s per capita personal income in that state, as defined by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
New York has the highest state income tax burden out of any other state. In 2020, the state collected income taxes that amounted to 4.7% of per capita personal income, or nearly $3,500 per person.
Not far behind are Maryland and Washington, DC. That same year, Maryland collected 4.2% of personal income, or $2,800 per person, in state income taxes. Washington, DC’s revenue from income taxes came out to $3,400 per resident, or 3.8% of personal income.
Among the 43 states that do levy income taxes, Tennessee has the lowest income tax burden. In 2020, the average Tennesseean paid just $8 — or 0.02% of their income — in state income taxes.
New Hampshire has the second-lowest income tax burden nationwide, with the average resident in 2020 paying 0.1% of their income, or $90, in state income taxes. The same year, North Dakota’s income tax revenue amounted to 0.8% of personal income, or $494 per capita.
Read the full USAFacts report on Americans’ tax burdens, check out the latest updates on government finances, and get the data directly in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter.
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