People in These States Pay the Most in Income Tax

With tax time drawing nearer, many of us will pull out last year’s returns for reference. How much did you pay in income taxes? If you think it was a lot, there’s a good chance the average American in other states paid a lot more – or quite possibly, a lot less. It depends in part on where you live.

Federal income tax brackets are the same across all states. (Federal tax brackets are changing in 2018 based on the tax reform bill President Donald Trump signed into law.) However, state brackets vary a great deal, and lucky residents of nine states even pay no state income tax whatsoever. Here, we’ve listed the 15 most expensive states for paying federal and state income taxes combined — based on average dollar amounts paid per household, per state. How does your state measure up?

15. Washington

The Washington State Capitol building under a partly cloudy sky

Even though most taxes don’t go to the legislators in Olympia, Washingtonians still pay a ton. | Seastock Getty Images

  • Average federal income taxes: $14,664
  • Average state income taxes: $0
  • Total average taxes: $14,664

Even though Washington residents are lucky enough not to pay state income taxes, on average, they’re still paying higher than the nationwide average of $14,051 in federal taxes. The Pacific Northwest state does have a higher than average cost of living, including a sky-high gasoline tax.

Next: It’s not all bright in The Sunshine State.

14. Florida

Beautiful Sunset with rainbow at Boca Raton beach, Florida

Florida’s high sales tax offsets its lack of income tax. | ddmitr/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average federal income taxes: $14,750
  • Average state income taxes: $0
  • Total average taxes: $14,750

The Sunshine State is another place where residents are free from state income taxes. However, the average Florida household still pays $14,750 in federal taxes, which is slightly higher than the nationwide average. What isn’t charged in state income taxes, however, might be made up for in a higher-end sales tax of 6%, which is the 16th highest rate in the U.S.

Next: A state that also has high local and sales taxes

13. North Dakota

Downtown Fargo city in North Dakota

Despite a strong economy, North Dakota’s citizens pay handsomely for it. | csfotoimages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average federal income taxes: $14,823
  • Average state income taxes: $434
  • Total average taxes: $15,257

North Dakota households pay more than $15,000 in combined state and federal taxes, on average. This includes a relatively low state rate, which varies between 1.1% and 2.9%. On top of that, the state’s average combined rate of local and sales taxes was 6.78%. Despite many people in the state paying a lot in taxes, the state was ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report as far as its economy and employment.

Next: A state plans to counteract federal tax overhaul effects.

12. Maryland

Maryland state capitol

Maryland is taking steps to provide citizens with tax relief. | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

  • Average federal income taxes: $14,239
  • Average state income taxes: $1,525
  • Total average taxes: $15,764

Residents of the northeastern state of Maryland pay $15,764 in combined federal and state taxes, on average. The state also charges a 6% sales tax, without levying any local sales taxes. In tax news, Maryland announced in January 2018 it planned to introduce new legislation to help mitigate the impact on its taxpayers who could pay more taxes following the federal tax overhaul.

Next: A high real estate tax cancels out the $0 state tax.

11. Texas

Frisco, Texas

Everything’s bigger in Texas — including tax bills. | Jaynir/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average federal income taxes: $16,029
  • Average state income taxes: $0
  • Total average taxes: $16,029

Although Texas does not collect a state income tax, its residents pay a high average of $16,029 in federal income taxes. This is almost $2,000 higher than the national average. And since everything is bigger in Texas, the Lonestar State also charges a higher effective real estate tax than most of the country.

Next: A state that also charges a car tax

10. Virginia

Virginia’s state taxes are tough for some residents. | Source: iStock

  • Average federal income taxes: $14,197
  • Average state income taxes: $2,059
  • Total average taxes: $16,256

While the average amount paid in federal income taxes in Virginia is close to the national norm, residents are charged more than $2,000 in state income taxes on average, bringing the total average income tax bill to $16,256. Incidentally, Virginia residents also have to pay a personal property tax on vehicles, whereas those in neighboring Maryland and Washington, D.C., do not.

Next: The least populated state in America

9. Wyoming

Jackson, Wyoming

Federal taxes in Wyoming make it an expensive place to live. | Town of Jackson via Facebook

  • Average federal income taxes: $16,329
  • Average state income taxes: $0
  • Total average taxes: $16,329

People may move to Wyoming to pay $0 in state taxes and because it is the least populated state in America. Wyoming also ranks well for its real estate taxes. Its residents do tend to pay a high average amount in federal taxes, though, at $16,329 per household.

Next: A Rocky Mountain State charges a flat rate.

8. Colorado

People in Colorado pay a ton in taxes. | welcomia/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average federal income taxes: $14,244
  • Average state income taxes: $2,315
  • Total average taxes: $16,559

Colorado residents pay the 8th highest amount in income taxes, of $16,559 average combined state and federal taxes. Residents pay a flat state rate of 4.63%, regardless of income. Colorado also employs a statewide sales tax of 2.9%. In addition, local taxes throughout the state average 4.6%.

Next: A regressive state tax system

7. Illinois

Springfield, Illinois

Illinois’ financial troubles have affected its citizens. | fotoguy22/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average federal income taxes: $15,097
  • Average state income taxes: $2,100
  • Total average taxes: $17,197

Illinois has the dubious distinction of being No. 4 on a Terrible 10 list of the most regressive state tax systems in the U.S. Its maximum marginal income tax rate is the absolute highest in the country. The financially beleaguered state narrowly avoided junk bond status when it voted to enact a tax increase in July 2017. Illinois households pay an average of $17,197 in federal and state taxes combined.

Next: The Golden State had recent tax changes.

6. California

Napa Valley

California residents pay a lot to live in this beautiful state. | bpperry/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average federal income taxes: $16,996
  • Average state income taxes: $847
  • Total average taxes: $17,843

Residents of California pay the sixth most in combined federal and state taxes, on average. This comes out to $17,843. While earners of more than $1 million are in a high, 13.3% state tax bracket, earners in the lower nine brackets pay significantly lower rates. The average household pays just $847 in state taxes. The state was recently in the news for another kind of tax — one on marijuana, which increased in some local areas up to 40% on Jan 1, 2018.

Next: The Garden State collects a hefty sales tax.

5. New Jersey

The skyline and Atlantic Ocean in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Despite low state taxes, New Jersey residents still pay a lot. | AppalachianViews/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average federal income taxes: $18,367
  • Average state income taxes: $718
  • Total average taxes: $19,085

Those who live in New Jersey pay just over $19,000 on average in combined state and federal income taxes. Of the states that do charge income tax, New Jersey residents pay the second-lowest average amount in state taxes, at $718 per household. Perhaps this is made up for with the New Jersey sales tax, which is at a high rate of 6.88%.

Next: A 5.1% flat state tax

4. Massachusetts

Harvard university

Harvard University | Jorge Salcedo/Shutterstock

  • Average federal income taxes: $18,997
  • Average state income taxes: $2,078
  • Total average taxes: $21,075

With Massachusetts’ flat state income tax rate of 5.1%, the average household pays just over $2,000 in state taxes per year – the 12th highest amount. When combined with federal taxes, however, the average tax bill is $21,075. The state also has a high sales tax of 6.25%.

Next: The Empire State imposes some hefty taxes.

3. New York

Sunset Park, Brooklyn

New Yorkers pay a lot to live in the Empire State. | Harry Green/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average federal income taxes: $19,782
  • Average state income taxes: $1,526
  • Total average taxes: $21,308

Living in New York City, the country’s top metropolitan area, and beyond, comes with a larger tax bill. New York state residents pay the third highest tax bills in the country, on average. While the state ranks 22nd highest in state taxes, the high average federal bill brings it up to $21,308 in combined taxes per household. The high cost of living in this state encompasses hefty taxes on gasoline and cigarettes.

Next: Higher than average income taxes, plus high sales tax

2. District of Columbia

Washington DC in Spring

Living in the nation’s capital isn’t cheap. | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average federal income taxes: $20,563
  • Average state income taxes: $2,158
  • Total average taxes: $22,721

Our nation’s capital comes in as No. 2 for high taxes. Households in the District of Columbia pay an average of $22,721 per year in state and federal taxes combined. This includes a federal amount more than $6,000 higher than the national average. In addition, the district charges a variable sales tax rate from 5.75% to 14.5%. The rate varies depending on what’s being taxed, including personal property, alcohol, restaurant meals, commercial marking, and hotel rooms.

Next: The highest-paying state is…

1. Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut skyline

Citizens of Connecticut pay more in taxes than most. | SeanPavonePhoto/ Getty Images Plus

  • Average federal income taxes: $22,785
  • Average state income taxes: $800
  • Total average taxes: $23,585

Connecticut ranks as the worst state in the country for income taxes. The average household forks over $23,585 of its income to the state and federal governments. Not only are Connecticut residents paying heavily in income taxes, but they also pay the fourth highest in property taxes nationwide.

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