The Tax Foundation recently released their 2009 Tax Freedom Day Study. It measures how many days the average worker must work to pay taxes. There is a wide disparity among states. The tax burden you bear can significantly impact your quality of life.
The Best State for Tax Freedom is Alaska where it takes 82 days almost 25% of the year just to pay taxes. Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota, North Dakota and West Virginia are also rated Best States for Tax Freedom. If you are not retired, these states would be considered as candidates for Best States to Work.
The Worst State for Tax Freedom is Connecticut where it takes 120 days or until April 30 to pay taxes. If you live in Connecticut 1/3 of your time every year goes to pay taxes to the Federal, State and Local governments. That is almost 50% more days than Alaska. New Jersey, New York, California and Maryland are also rated Worst States for Tax Freedom.
According to the Tax Foundation study, five major categories of tax dominate the tax burden. Individual income taxes, both federal and state, require 38 days’ work. Payroll taxes take another 27 days’ work. Sales and excise taxes, mostly state and local, take 15 days to pay off. Corporate income taxes take 6 days, and property taxes take 12. Americans will log 4 more days to pay other miscellaneous taxes, most notably including motor vehicle license taxes and severance taxes, and about 1 day for estate taxes.
What state you live in is very important in determining your lifestyle as higher cost of living states tend to have higher tax burdens. Lower disposable income is the result. Many states are also increasing many taxes due to economic conditions which will increase tax burdens. Noteworthy examples are the proposed increases in New York and California that will make these heavily burdened states more undesirable to live. If you are not retired, New York and California would have to be considered as 2 of the Worst States to Work.
Source: Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day