Are Pay Equity Studies Equitable? Are State Rankings Meaningful?

Are Pay Equity Studies Equitable?  Are State Rankings meaningful?

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) http://www.aauw.org recently published a state ranking of pay equity for college educated women as compared to men.

The report found that in the United States, the earnings gap between college educated men and women over 25 years of age and who work full-time year round was 71%, meaning these women make 29 cents less on the dollar nationally. They also reported the differences in pay equity by state.

While we do not dispute the numbers as put forth by the study i.e. women typically are paid less than men, we do question the validity of the issue and the reasons typically put forth for its existance.   We believe it presents a one sided argument in favor of legislation supporting the “Paycheck Fairness Act.”  The AAUW supports legislation that would close the gap with legislation.  The study has received significant publicity without some common sense rebuttal.

Why do we question the fairness and validity of this study?

We think many other factors also influence pay.

Should experience matter?  Would it be fair to require people with more experience to be paid the same as those with less experience?

Should training and knowledge matter?  Would it be fair to require pay to be the same for people with less training than others?

We believe training and experience should matter!!

The AAUW study neglects to point out that there are significant differences between men and women in the work place.

The Social Security Administration http://www.socialsecurity.gov reports that women typically work 13 years less than men during their lifetimes.  13 years of less work experience for any person is meaningful.  You would expect those with less work experience regardless of sex to be paid less on average.

Women typically also leave the workforce to raise children.  One study has measured the average time women leave the workforce for child rearing at 11.5 years.  Women work less work years.  This typically also leads to less training and development of computer and other specific job skills that are part of the pay criteria.  Much of this is learned on the job.  It is common sense to expect people with less training and less experience to be paid less.

While we highly respect the important contributions that women make to our world, we do not believe the AAUW study should be considered as an important fact to support pay fairness.  Many women as matter of choice, happily leave the workforce.   We hope for the benefit of fairness that this study and the “Pay Fairness Act” do not become accepted wisdom and law.

The chart below is from the Urban Institute  The Urban Institute recognizes and charts the differences in male/female work experience. Men work significantly more years than women.
Cumulative Distribution of Work Years
The “Best and Worst States for Pay Equity” are listed below.  Read them with caution.  Interestingly we could not find any obvious conclusions from the listings.

The “Best State for Pay Equity” is Vermont.  Nearby New Hampshire is one of the “Worst States for Pay Equity.”  Does this suggest that employers in Vermont are more “fair” to women than in New Hampshire?  Why?

Are employers in Wisconsin or Montana fundamentally more “fair” than nearby poorly ranked Iowa?  Are there factors other than male/female pay discrimination that are more influential that create lower average pay for women in Iowa?  For example, do families in Wisconsin have a lower value for child rearing resulting in more work time for women and thus more pay?  We think that would be a meaningless conclusion.

There are many factors that influence differences in pay between the sexes.  We think state by state rankings offer limited insight and create numerous questions for understanding why.

Best States for Pay Equity

1) Vermont 87%
2) Hawaii 83%
3) Delaware 80%
4) New York 78%
5) Montana 77%
6) Wyoming 77%
7) New Mexico 77%
8) Wisconsin 76%
9) Oregon 76%
10) Nevada 75%

Worst States for Pay Equity


42) Utah 69%
43) Michigan 68%
44) Arkansas 68%
45) Iowa 68%
46) New Hampshire 68%
47) Oklahoma 67%
48) Virginia 67%
49) Mississippi 67%
50) West Virginia 67%
51) Louisiana 65
%

Finally, the AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE, said “Our analysis is quite disturbing, especially when you consider how more and more families are depending on a woman’s paycheck as the primary source of income in these tough economic times. Consequently, the issue of pay equity takes on an added sense of urgency. This is just one of the reasons why we’re urging the Senate to join the House and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act,”

We disagree.

The “Paycheck Fairness Act” would be unfair if it punishes experience and training. Fairness requires that all people regardless of sex should be paid on the basis of experience and training as well.

Are Business Friendly States Best for Jobs?

Editors Note:  If you are looking for a Best State for Jobs start your search with our latest posts:

 

Which States had the Best Employment Markets in 2009? Will 2010 Job Market Improve?

Best States for Job Openings September 2009

Best States for Job Openings and Where to find a Job

For the August 2009 list of Best States for Employment see Best and Worst States for Employment

Click on the category Best and Worst States for Jobs on the right navigation for our collection of articles on Jobs.

In our Job Openings post you will see the trends by state in job openings and what states are currently experiencing increased job openings.  We also have published the List of Job Openings by State

******Editor’s Note:  The rest of this post was published in April 2009 Go to  Best and Worst States   for our latest  *********************

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March State Unemployment rates this week.   For our August 2009 listing and analysis of Best States for Job Openings click

We now have 8 states with unemployment above 10%.  Michigan is the Worst State for Jobs with an unemployment rate of 12.6%. Oregon is also very bad for jobs with a rate of 12.1%.  California, our most populated state, has an unemployment of 11.2% meaning that 1 out of 9 people are out of work. South Carolina also is a Worst State for Jobs with unemployment of 11.4%.

The  Best State for Jobs in March was North Dakota at 4.2%.  The other Top 5 States for Jobs were Wyoming at 4.5%, Nebraska at 4.6%, South Dakota at 4.9%.  Iowa and Utah were tied for fifth with 5.2% unemployment.

We thought we would take a look this month also at how states that are ranked for small business are doing on the job front.  In theory the better the small business environment the better the job environment.  We used the recently released SBEC report.  See: Best and Worst States for Small Business

The data shows that the Best States for Small Business are not all the Best States for Jobs at this moment.  5 of the top 10 Best States for Small Business, for example, have below average i.e. higher, unemployment. 45th ranked Iowa for example has the 4th best employment in the U.S.

As mentioned in the previous post, the SBEC index is primarily a tax based system and high or lower taxes are not the only reason companies grow and create jobs.  It would appear intuitive over time business friendly states should create more business and jobs. We will continue to watch this during the cycle as the better states may grow first and faster.

           Small
Rank State %Unemp  Biz Rank
1 NORTH DAKOTA 4.2 36
2 WYOMING 4.5 3
3 NEBRASKA 4.6 40
4 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.9 1
5 IOWA 5.2 45
5 UTAH 5.2 24
7 LOUISIANA 5.8 26
8 NEW MEXICO 5.9 27
8 OKLAHOMA 5.9 15
10 KANSAS 6.1 33
10 MONTANA 6.1 31
12 NEW HAMPSHIRE 6.2 25
13 ARKANSAS 6.5 23
14 TEXAS 6.7 5
15 VIRGINIA 6.8 16
16 MARYLAND 6.9 35
16 WEST VIRGINIA 6.9 39
18 IDAHO 7 41
19 HAWAII 7.1 37
20 VERMONT 7.2 43
21 COLORADO 7.5 8
21 CONNECTICUT 7.5 30
23 DELAWARE 7.7 21
24 ARIZONA 7.8 17
24 MASSACHUSETTS 7.8 42
24 NEW YORK 7.8 46
24 PENNSYLVANIA 7.8 29
28 MAINE 8.1 48
29 MINNESOTA 8.2 49
30 NEW JERSEY 8.3 50
31 ALASKA 8.5 7
31 WISCONSIN 8.5 32
33 MISSOURI 8.7 14
34 ALABAMA 9 9
35 ILLINOIS 9.1 18
36 GEORGIA 9.2 19
36 WASHINGTON 9.2 4
38 MISSISSIPPI 9.4 12
39 TENNESSEE 9.6 13
40 FLORIDA 9.7 6
40 OHIO 9.7 10
42 DC 9.8 51
42 KENTUCKY 9.8 28
44 INDIANA 10 22
45 NEVADA 10.4 2
46 RHODE ISLAND 10.5 44
47 NORTH CAROLINA 10.8 38
48 CALIFORNIA 11.2 47
49 SOUTH CAROLINA 11.4 11
50 OREGON 12.1 34
51 MICHIGAN 12.6 20

Tax Freedom Day 2009: Pick Your State Carefully

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.

Tax
State Days Freedom Day
1 Alaska 82 23-Mar
2 Louisiana 87 28-Mar
3 Mississippi 87 28-Mar
4 South Dakota 88 29-Mar
5 North Dakota 91 1-Apr
6 West Virginia 91 1-Apr
7 Alabama 92 2-Apr
8 New Mexico 92 2-Apr
9 Montana 93 3-Apr
10 Kentucky 93 3-Apr
11 Oklahoma 94 4-Apr
12 Iowa 94 4-Apr
13 South Carolina 94 4-Apr
14 Arkansas 94 4-Apr
15 Tennessee 95 5-Apr
16 Wyoming 95 5-Apr
17 Missouri 96 6-Apr
18 Maine 96 6-Apr
19 Texas 96 6-Apr
20 Nebraska 98 8-Apr
21 Kansas 98 8-Apr
22 Nevada 98 8-Apr
23 Indiana 98 8-Apr
24 Florida 99 9-Apr
25 Oregon 99 9-Apr
26 North Carolina 99 9-Apr
27 Michigan 100 10-Apr
28 Arizona 100 10-Apr
29 New Hampshire 100 10-Apr
30 Ohio 101 11-Apr
31 Delaware 101 11-Apr
32 Vermont 102 12-Apr
33 Idaho 102 12-Apr
34 Georgia 102 12-Apr
35 Colorado 102 12-Apr
36 Illinois 103 13-Apr
37 Hawaii 103 13-Apr
38 Utah 103 13-Apr
39 Wisconsin 103 13-Apr
40 Pennsylvania 104 14-Apr
41 Rhode Island 104 14-Apr
42 Minnesota 105 15-Apr
43 Washington 106 16-Apr
44 Massachusetts 106 16-Apr
45 Virginia 106 16-Apr
46 Maryland 109 19-Apr
47 California 110 20-Apr
48 New York 115 25-Apr
49 New Jersey 119 29-Apr
50 Connecticut 120 30-Apr

Source: Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day

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State Unemployment Up Everywhere in Feb, Michigan tops 12% Unemployed

The February 2009 State Unemployment numbers were released this past week and they were not pretty. Every state in the U.S. saw its unemployment rate increase.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)  also released March Unemployment, along with Feb state data, and the nationwide unemployment rate increased again to 8.5% nationwide.  It was 8.1% in February.

Seven States had unemployment above 10% in February.  Michigan was the Worst State for Jobs with a whopping 12% unemployment number.  South Carolina, Oregon, North Carolina, California Rhode Island and Nevada also qualify as Worst States for Employment as the 6 other states with unemployment above 10% .

The Best State for Jobs based on a low 3.9% unemployment is Wyoming. 4 other states qualify as Best States for Employment with rates still below 5%.  They are:  Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.

Some of the state year on year changes are quite large.  Unemployment increased by over 100% from last year in Hawaii and Oregon for example.  Of the large states, Texas is holding up the best with unemployment of only 6.2% in February which was below the U.S. Feb average of 8.1%.

State data is released with a one month lag so expect March state unemployment to get even worse as unemployment increased nationwide in March by .4%.

State Feb-08 Feb-09 Change
1 Michigan 7.4 12 4.6
2 South Carolina 5.7 11 5.3
3 Oregon 5.4 10.8 5.4
4 North Carolina 5.2 10.7 5.5
5 California 6.2 10.5 4.3
6 Rhode Island 6.5 10.5 4
7 Nevada 5.5 10.1 4.6
8 District of Columbia 6.1 9.9 3.8
9 Florida 5.2 9.4 4.2
10 Indiana 5 9.4 4.4
11 Ohio 5.9 9.4 3.5
12 Georgia 5.4 9.3 3.9
13 Kentucky 5.6 9.2 3.6
14 Mississippi 5.9 9.1 3.2
15 Tennessee 5.5 9.1 3.6
16 Illinois . 5.9 8.6 2.7
17 Alabama 4.1 8.4 4.3
18 Washington 4.7 8.4 3.7
19 Missouri 5.5 8.3 2.8
20 New Jersey 4.7 8.2 3.5
21 Minnesota 5 8.1 3.1
22 Alaska 6.5 8 1.5
23 Maine 4.9 8 3.1
24 Massachusetts 4.6 7.8 3.2
25 New York 4.6 7.8 3.2
26 Wisconsin 4.5 7.7 3.2
27 Pennsylvania 4.8 7.5 2.7
28 Arizona 4.5 7.4 2.9
29 Connecticut 5.2 7.4 2.2
30 Delaware 4 7.4 3.4
31 Colorado 4.5 7.2 2.7
32 Vermont 4.4 7 2.6
33 Idaho 3.9 6.8 2.9
34 Maryland 3.7 6.7 3
35 Arkansas 4.8 6.6 1.8
36 Virginia 3.5 6.6 3.1
37 Hawaii 3.1 6.5 3.4
38 Texas 4.5 6.5 2
39 Montana 4 6 2
40 West Virginia 4.2 6 1.8
41 Kansas 4 5.9 1.9
42 Louisiana 3.8 5.7 1.9
43 Oklahoma 3.2 5.5 2.3
44 New Mexico 3.8 5.4 1.6
45 New Hampshire 3.7 5.3 1.6
46 Utah 3.3 5.1 1.8
47 Iowa 3.9 4.9 1
48 South Dakota 2.7 4.6 1.9
49 North Dakota 3 4.3 1.3
50 Nebraska 3 4.2 1.2
51 Wyoming 2.8 3.9 1.1
p = preliminary.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Black Cars Evil, California wins Worst State for the Week

We read with great amusement the post on Tech Crunch concerning California’s proposal to regulate the color of cars its population can own.

Its bad enough California population is over taxed and over regulated.  Now the state government is proposing to control the colors of cars with regs starting in 2012 and fully being implemented by 2016.

Read the full piece here:

California wins our Worst State of the Week.

Photo Source:  Techcrunch.com
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Job Openings Drop Nationwide by 9.3% in last 45 days, California Worst, 44 States show Decreases

Career Builder Job Openings Drop 9.35%Nationwide in Last 45 Days
44 States Decrease, Only 6 States Increase

California Worst State for Declines, North Dakota up 28.08%

Best and Worst States.com, the leading site for facts and lists about States, released analysis today on job opening data using Careerbuilder job openings as a proxy for job activity.  Career Builder is the nations largest job posting site.  Nationwide job openings dropped 9.35% to 213,077 from 235,059 during the 45 day period starting on January 29, 2009 and ending on March 14, 2009.  Job openings are those that have been posted within the last 30 days.

44 States showed decreases in job openings in the last 45 days while only 6 showed increase.  The biggest job opening decline was in California.  Job openings declined to 21,723 on March 14th from 25,855 on January 29, 2009, a decline of 4,132 job openings.  California unemployment was recently announced at 10.1%, the 4th worst in the nation.  California, the nations most populous state, also has the most job openings in the country yet the number is quite low compared to the size of the population. Typically job openings are a leading indicator of future employment.

All large employment states showed job opening declines including New York, Illinois, Texas and FloridaIllinois showed the largest decline in percentage terms at -20.99%.  Illinois unemployment is currently at 7.9%, tied for 34th in the nation.

States that showed increases were typically small states with low unemployment.  The total number of increases was also small.  North Dakota showed the largest percentage increase in job openings at 28.08% yet it only increased by 123 job openings.  North Dakota’s unemployment was only 4.2% in January, the 2nd lowest in the nation. Alaska increased by 20.75% and had the largest state job opening increase at 167.  Alaska unemployment is at 7.9%, tied for 34th in the nation.  Other states showing increases were South Dakota with an increase of 62, Maine with 13, Utah with 29 and Iowa with 27.  Wyoming, the state with the lowest unemployment, also showed a slight increase of job openings with just 10.  It also has the fewest job openings in the nation on career builder.

Edward M. Kopko, Editor of Best and Worst States, said, “ Job Openings have dropped quite quickly since President Obama has taken office.  The unemployment rate is unlikely to improve until job openings start to increase.  The trend clearly indicates increased unemployment.”

BestandWorstStates.com, is the leading site for facts and lists about states.  Ed Kopko, its editor, during his career has written and developed extensive research on business matters and employment.  The site develops and publishes data about a number of issues important to people.  Topics include state tax policy, social issues, jobs, lifestyle and matters that help citizens be more knowledgeable about the states they live.  www.bestandworststates.com.

Job Openings By State

14-Mar-09 29-Jan-09 % Change
1 California 21723 25855 -15.98% -4132
2 Texas 18340 20051 -8.53% -1711
3 Florida 14573 15174 -3.96% -601
4 New York 11792 13057 -9.69% -1265
5 Illinois 10826 13702 -20.99% -2876
6 Pennsylvania 9853 11141 -11.56% -1288
7 New Jersey 7760 8628 -10.06% -868
8 Ohio 7506 8276 -9.30% -770
9 Virginia 6725 7186 -6.42% -461
10 North Carolina 6335 6803 -6.88% -468
11 Maryland 6146 6552 -6.20% -406
12 Georgia 5508 5992 -8.08% -484
13 Arizona 5124 5992 -14.49% -868
14 Massachusetts 5112 6168 -17.12% -1056
15 Michigan 5015 5541 -9.49% -526
16 Washington 4606 4914 -6.27% -308
17 Indiana 4578 4731 -3.23% -153
18 Missouri 4270 4458 -4.22% -188
19 Colorado 4143 4214 -1.68% -71
20 Tennessee 4132 4413 -6.37% -281
21 Connecticut 4008 4531 -11.54% -523
22 Wisconsin 3710 4314 -14.00% -604
23 Minnesota 3535 4193 -15.69% -658
24 South Carolina 3223 3136 2.77% 87
25 Kansas 3115 3236 -3.74% -121
26 Louisiana 2958 3494 -15.34% -536
27 Kentucky 2749 2763 -0.51% -14
28 Iowa 2526 2499 1.08% 27
29 Alabama 2437 2567 -5.06% -130
30 Oklahoma 2170 2269 -4.36% -99
31 Nevada 1735 1865 -6.97% -130
32 Oregon 1722 1832 -6.00% -110
33 Mississippi 1545 1548 -0.19% -3
34 New Mexico 1363 1423 -4.22% -60
35 Utah 1265 1236 2.35% 29
36 Arkansas 1258 1414 -11.03% -156
37 Nebraska 1077 1230 -12.44% -153
38 Delaware 976 1057 -7.66% -81
39 Alaska 972 805 20.75% 167
40 Hawaii 787 865 -9.02% -78
41 West Virginia 784 856 -8.41% -72
42 New Hampshire 694 694 0.00% 0
43 Rhode Island 650 707 -8.06% -57
44 South Dakota 647 585 10.60% 62
45 Idaho 642 665 -3.46% -23
46 Vermont 612 659 -7.13% -47
47 North Dakota 561 438 28.08% 123
48 Maine 462 449 2.90% 13
49 Montana 444 508 -12.60% -64
50 Wyoming 383 373 2.68% 10
Entire U.S. 213077 235059 -9.35% -21982

Source:  Bestandworststates.com, careerbuilder.com
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Best and Worst States for Child Homelessness: Is the data believable?

A “study” from the National Center of Family Homelessness was released this week and garnered national press.  It reported that 1 out of every 50 children were homeless during the “study” period of 2005-2006.  In addition it was reported over 1,500,000 children were homeless during the “study” period. The “study” also ranked the Best and Worst States.

We view the “data” as suspect and exaggerative. 

The “study” defines homelessness in such a way that many quality families and successful parents’ children were determined to be homeless in 2005-2006.  Let’s start with a few key parts of the definition of homelessness from the “study.”

Your children would be determined to be homeless if for just one day during the “study” period they were:

“• Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as doubled-up);
• Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations;”
Source: The National Center of Family Homelessness

Let’s look at the example of an executive who gets a new job and sells his home in the state he used to work.  If the family lives in an extended stay hotel in their new state while waiting to close on their new home, the children are determined to be homeless.   Suspect data to me.

In addition, if a young couple lives with in-laws, which is highly common, the children can be determined to be homeless.

If your family lives in a trailer park, the children can be considered homeless according to the definition.

Of the 1,500,000 children that were determined “homeless” by the “study” here is the breakdown:

Doubled-Up (56%)
Shelters (24%)
Unknown/Other (10%)
Hotels/Motels (7%)
Unsheltered (3%)

Source: The National Center of Family Homelessness

63% of “homeless” children are either staying with other families or living in hotels! Only 37% are in the other classifications.   I would like to thank Tom Palmer for breaking this story.  He makes some additional great points on his blog.  www.tomgpalmer.com

The Worst State for Child Homelessness from the “study” is Texas.  The Best State is Connecticut.

The state rankings follow.  Read them with caution.

1 Connecticut
2 New Hampshire
3 Hawaii
4 Rhode Island
5 North Dakota
6 Minnesota
7 Wisconsin
8 Massachusetts
9 Maine
10 Vermont
11 Iowa
12 South Dakota
13 Illinois
14 Pennsylvania
15 West Virginia
16 New Jersey
17 Virginia
18 Maryland
19 Delaware
20 Ohio
21 Wyoming
22 Alaska
23 Idaho
24 Tennessee
25 Washington
26 Oregon
27 Missouri
28 Kansas
29 Michigan
30 Indiana
31 Oklahoma
32 Alabama
33 Montana
34 Nebraska
35 Colorado
36 Arizona
37 Utah
38 New York
39 South Carolina
40 California
41 Mississippi
42 Kentucky
43 Florida
44 North Carolina
45 Nevada
46 Louisiana
47 New Mexico
48 Arkansas
49 Georgia
50 Texas

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Best and Worst States for Income. Is highest the best?

Best and Worst States for Income in 2008

Connecticut is the Best State for Per Capita Income in 2008 with an average of $63,160.  It is followed by Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Wyoming.

The Worst State for Income is Mississippi with an average income of $31,836.  The next Worst States are West Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky and South Carolina.

Higher income does not necessarily correlate to better lifestyle.  Connecticut, for example, is the Worst State for Taxes with the highest tax burden in the country.  Generally the highest income states have the highest tax burdens and higher cost of living index. See: Cost of Living by State

You could spend a lot more for the same house and have a lot less disposable income to enjoy life

State Income Per Capita Rank
Conn. $63,160 1
Mass. $56,661 2
N.J. $56,116 3
N.Y. $55,032 4
Wyo. $53,163 5
Md. $52,709 6
Nev. $49,371 7
Wash. $48,574 8
Colo. $48,300 9
N.H. $48,033 10
Calif. $47,706 11
Va. $47,666 12
Ill. $46,693 13
Hawaii $46,512 14
Fla. $46,293 15
Minn. $46,106 16
Del. $44,889 17
Alaska $44,872 18
R.I. $44,463 19
Pa. $43,796 20
Tex. $42,796 21
Vt. $42,626 22
Wis. $40,953 23
Kans. $40,784 24
Nebr. $40,499 25
N.D. $39,612 26
Ore. $39,444 27
Mich. $39,273 28
La. $39,116 29
S.D. $39,103 30
Ohio $38,925 31
Iowa $38,636 32
Okla. $38,415 33
Maine $38,309 34
Ariz. $38,174 35
Tenn. $38,090 36
Mo. $38,084 37
Ga. $37,850 38
N.C. $37,508 39
Ind. $37,279 40
Mont. $36,793 41
Idaho $36,492 42
Ala. $36,372 43
N.M. $36,031 44
Utah $35,971 45
S.C. $35,419 46
Ky. $34,339 47
Ark. $33,395 48
W.Va. $32,145 49
Miss. $31,836 50
U.S. $44,254
D.C. $70,730
Note: See table 38 for average people per household by state.
Source: Tax Foundation Special Report, No. 163, “State-Local Tax Burdens Dip as Income Growth Outpaces Tax Growth.” The income measure used adds the following to Bureau of Economic Analysis’s personal income measure: capital gains realizations, pension and life insurance distributions, corporate income taxes paid, and taxes on production and imports less subsidies. It subtracts from personal income the fungible portion of Medicare and Medicaid, estimated Medicare benefits that are provided via supplementary contributions, initial contributions to pension income and life insurance from employers, and the annual investment income of life insurance carriers and pensions that is included in personal income.

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Best and Worst States for Individual Taxes, Maryland Worst, 6 States Best

The Tax Foundation has recently published its 2009 ranking of the Best and Worst States for Individual Income Taxes.

The Best States for Individual Taxes are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming all rated a 10.0 in their Index.

The Worst State for Individual Taxes is Maryland.  Rounding out the bottom 5 Worst States in order are California, New Jersey, Ohio and Iowa.

If you want to keep more of the money you earn, pick a low tax state.  This list is useful.

Individual Income Tax Index, 2009
State Score (a) Rank
Alaska 10 1
Fla. 10 1
Nev. 10 1
S.D. 10 1
Wash. 10 1
Wyo. 10 1
Tex. 9.44 7
Tenn. 7.64 8
N.H. 7.55 9
Ill. 6.97 10
Ind. 6.72 11
Pa. 6.61 12
Utah 6.59 13
Colo. 6.41 14
Mich. 6.41 15
Mass. 6.41 16
Ala. 5.36 17
Miss. 5.35 18
N.M. 5.29 19
Va. 5.24 20
Kans. 5.2 21
Mont. 5.15 22
Ariz. 5.14 23
La. 5.09 24
Conn. 5.07 25
Okla. 5.01 26
Mo. 4.96 27
Del. 4.95 28
S.C. 4.93 29
Ga. 4.91 30
Ark. 4.87 31
Idaho 4.86 32
Nebr. 4.85 33
Ore. 4.84 34
N.D. 4.78 35
Ky. 4.78 36
N.C. 4.46 37
Hawaii 4.38 38
Minn. 4.34 39
Maine 4.33 40
W.Va. 4.33 41
R.I. 4.32 42
N.Y. 4.22 43
Wis. 4.21 44
Vt. 3.81 45
Iowa 3.7 46
Ohio 3.22 47
N.J. 3.18 48
Calif. 2.51 49
Md. 2.06 50
U.S. 5
D.C. 4.4
(a) The index is a measure of how each state’s tax laws affect economic performance.
The higher the score, the more favorable a state’s tax system is for business. All scores are for fiscal years.
Source: Tax Foundation Background Paper, No. 58, “2009 State Business Tax Climate In

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Best and Worst States for Gasoline Prices, Wyoming Best, Alaska Worst

AAA publishes retail gasoline prices everyday.

The Best State for Gas Prices is Wyoming for Feb 21 with a price of $1.72 for regular gasoline. The other Top 5 Best States are Missouri, Utah, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

Alaska is the Worst State with a state price of $2.54.  Rounding out the 5 Worst States for Gas Prices are Hawaii, California, Nevada and Washington.

According to the Tax Foundation, Wyoming’s tax on a gallon of gas is $.14 and Alaska currently has suspended its tax until August of 2009.  California taxes every gallon of gas $.353. Its residents would enjoy much lower prices if they were not being taxed so highly.

There are many factors that influence each states price.  It is not just the price of a barrel of oil.

  1. Wyoming     $1.72
  2. Missouri     $1.73
  3. Utah     $1.73
  4. Oklahoma     $1.74
  5. South Carolina     $1.77
  6. Arkansas     $1.78
  7. New Jersey     $1.78
  8. Texas     $1.79
  9. Tennessee     $1.79
  10. Mississippi     $1.80
  11. Georgia     $1.80
  12. Alabama     $1.82
  13. Kansas     $1.83
  14. Iowa     $1.83
  15. Louisiana     $1.83
  16. Idaho     $1.83
  17. Indiana     $1.83
  18. Virginia     $1.84
  19. Colorado     $1.84
  20. Kentucky     $1.84
  21. Ohio     $1.85
  22. Delaware     $1.87
  23. Nebraska     $1.88
  24. North Carolina     $1.89
  25. Michigan     $1.89
  26. New Hampshire     $1.89
  27. Maryland     $1.90
  28. Minnesota     $1.90
  29. Massachusetts     $1.90
  30. South Dakota     $1.91
  31. Montana     $1.92
  32. Illinois     $1.95
  33. North Dakota     $1.96
  34. Vermont     $1.96
  35. Wisconsin     $1.97
  36. Florida     $1.98
  37. Rhode Island     $1.98
  38. District of Columbia     $1.99
  39. Pennsylvania     $2.00
  40. New Mexico     $2.00
  41. Maine     $2.01
  42. West Virginia     $2.02
  43. Connecticut     $2.03
  44. Arizona     $2.04
  45. New York     $2.10
  46. Oregon     $2.11
  47. Washington     $2.20
  48. Nevada     $2.21
  49. California     $2.29
  50. Hawaii     $2.43
  51. Alaska     $2.54