Lowest to Highest Taxes by State


Wondering which U.S. State may be better to live in regarding their taxes and tax burden? While we cannot escape taxes, we can make decisions which will minimize our overall State tax burden, depending on each of our own financial situations and objectives.

In this article, we will address property tax, income tax, and sales tax.

Let’s say you are planning to retire, and/or move out of your State. Among the many things that you will consider in your selection process may be picking a tax friendlier region.

The debt burden of many cities, counties, states, and the federal government are being stressed. There is little doubt that taxes, including State taxes will be on the increase as governments look for more revenue.

Regarding the three primary sources of revenue from State taxes (income, sales, property), your own personal situation and preferences will ‘weight’ each of these differently. For example, if you are retired or soon to retire, the income tax of a given State may be less important to you than say, the property tax of the county or town since your income may be relatively low (retirement). However your property taxes will always be there and will continue to rise over time.

Here are a few State tax statistics from a number of sources including RetirementLiving.com, Wikipedia, Census.gov/govs/statetax, State Government Tax Collections 2009, and the TaxFoundation.org.

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State Sales Tax

Except for very expensive (or lots of) annual purchases, State sales tax might be less important to your overall tax burden when compared to property taxes and income taxes. For example, in 1-year you would have to purchase more than $40,000 of taxable products taxed at a 7% sales tax to be equivalent to the impact of an annual $3,000 property tax bill.

This sales tax list includes the base rate plus the maximum local surtax that may exist in that State. This surtax is typically only on certain goods and may slightly skew some State results – but I wanted to include a worst-case scenario.

Your sales tax rates may be lower if you’re living outside of the surtaxed area or not purchasing a surtaxed product.

Rates are rounded to the nearest 0.1 decimal.

List of State Sales Tax including any local surtax

Delaware (0%)
New Hampshire (0%)
Oregon (0%)
Montana (3%) general sales tax = 0%, a few surtaxes apply at 3%
Hawaii (4.7%)
Maine (5%)
North Dakota (5%)
Virginia (5%)
Wisconsin (5.6%)
Arkansas (6%)
Connecticut (6%)
D.C. (6.0%)
Idaho (6%)
Kentucky (6%)
Maryland (6%)
Michigan (6%)
South Dakota (6%)
West Virginia (6%)
Massachusetts (6.3%)
Alaska (7%)
Iowa (7%)
Nebraska (7%)
New Jersey (7%)
Rhode Island (7%)
Vermont (7%)
Wyoming (7%)
Florida (7.5%)
Ohio (7.8%)
Minnesota (7.8%)
Colorado (8.0%)
Georgia (8%)
Pennsylvania (8%)
Nevada (8.1%)
North Carolina (8.3%)
Texas (8.3%)
Utah (8.4%)
Oklahoma (8.5%)
New Mexico (8.6%)
Kansas (8.7%)
New York (8.9%)
Indiana (9%)
Louisiana (9%)
Mississippi (9%)
South Carolina (9%)
Missouri (9.2%)
Washington (9.5%)
Tennessee (9.8%)
Alabama (10%)
Arizona (10.6%)
California (10.8%)
Illinois (11.5%)


State Personal Income Tax

A total of 41 States impose income taxes. Some States base their income tax on federal returns, typically taking a percentage of your federally adjusted gross income.

States with No Income Tax

South Dakota
New Hampshire (except tax on income from interest and dividends)
Tennessee (except tax on income from interest and dividends)

State Income Tax rates based on $60,000 income

Unless you earn very little, or earn substantially more than $60K, the following State income tax rates probably fit most of the typical folks out there, and will give you an idea of where the states ranked in 2010. Rates are rounded to the nearest 0.1 decimal, and do not include any special deductions or exemptions that may exist.

State (income tax %)

Alaska (0%)
Florida (0%)
Nevada (0%)
New Hampshire (0%) except tax on income from interest and dividends
South Dakota (0%)
Tennessee (0%) except tax on income from interest and dividends
Texas (0%)
Washington (0%)
Wyoming (0% )
Illinois (3%)
Pennsylvania (3%)
Indiana (3.4%)
North Dakota (3.8%)
Michigan (4.4%)
Arizona (4.5%)
Colorado (4.6%)
Ohio (4.7%)
New Mexico (4.9%)
Alabama (5%)
Connecticut (5%)
Maryland (5%)
Mississippi (5%)
Utah (5%)
Massachusetts (5.3%)
Oklahoma (5.5%)
Kentucky (5.8%)
Virginia (5.8%)
Georgia (6%)
Louisiana (6% )
Missouri (6%)
New Jersey (6.4%)
Kansas (6.5%)
West Virginia (6.5% )
Wisconsin (6.8%)
Nebraska (6.8%)
Maine (6.9%)
Montana (6.9%)
Delaware (7%)
Arkansas (7% )
North Carolina (7%)
South Carolina (7%)
Rhode Island (7.8%)
Idaho (7.8%)
Minnesota ( 7.9%)
New York (7.9%)
Hawaii (8.3%)
Vermont (8.3%)
D.C. ( 8.5%)
Iowa (9%)
California (9.6%)
Oregon (10.8%)

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State Property Tax

The largest source of revenue for local governments are taxes on land and the buildings built on it.

Property taxes are not imposed by the States, but by the tens of thousands of cities, townships, counties, school districts and other assessing jurisdictions.

You cannot escape property taxes in any state. But you can find significantly low rates in certain parts of the country.

Having sorted through a list of home property taxes, listed by median price per county, and then  averaging the property taxes of all combined counties in each state, the following list of home property taxes by State should give you a general indication. For finer detail, each individual county would need to be checked because property taxes can vary substantially based on region and the home’s assessed value itself.

Data from 2009 (although surely very close to what it is today)

Home Property Tax average per State

State ($ avg. per home)

Louisiana ($404)
Alabama ($410)
West Virginia ($615)
Arkansas ($684)
South Carolina ($693)
Mississippi ($787)
New Mexico ($862)
Delaware ($950)
Oklahoma ($968)
Arizona ($986)
Tennessee ($1,041)
Hawaii ($1,047)
Kentucky ($1,059)
Wyoming ($1,084)
Indiana ($1,104)
North Carolina ($1,172)
Idaho ($1,213)
Utah ($1,305)
Georgia ($1,377)
Missouri ($1,443)
Colorado ($1,538)
Florida ($1,619)
Montana ($1,764)
Ohio ($1,834)
Nevada ($1,879)
Iowa ($1,934)
Kansas ($1,957)
Maine ($1,976)
Oregon ($2,045)
D.C. ( $2,057)
Michigan ($2,069)
South Dakota ($2,076)
Pennsylvania ($2,092)
Washington ($2,127)
Texas ($2,141)
Virginia ($2,230)
Minnesota ($2,340)
California ($2,631)
Maryland ($2,637)
North Dakota ($2,638)
Alaska ($2,796)
Nebraska ($2,829)
Wisconsin ($3,041)
Massachusetts ($3,255)
Illinois ($3,272)
Rhode Island ($3,731)
New York ($3,736)
Vermont ($4,168)
Connecticut ($4,437)
New Hampshire ($4,618)
New Jersey ($6,348)

UPDATE (2017)
Property Taxes – Lowest to Highest by State sorted by dollars

There are many factors that go into one’s formula to decide the best place to retire, or the best place to move to, because we each have our own individual notions of what that is.

However, near the top of the list of factors or concerns should be property tax, income tax, and sales tax. Also, nearly just as important, do not forget to research the fiscal situation of the state, city, or town that you are contemplating moving to. There are many of these that are themselves on the verge of bankruptcy. They will be the first to raise your taxes.

Related Article:
State Tax Burden
State Income Tax Comparison

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  1. The trick is to live and work in a no income tax state right across the state line from a no sales tax state.

    1. Can you tell me where that is????????You see I am planning to win the lottery real soon ….And of course I need to live tax free lol??????? No seriously WHERE COULD THAT BE????Thank You Joam

      1. It’s called Vancouver, Washington (Or anywhere else on the WA side of the OR-WA border

      2. Live in Washington state near the border to Oregon. No state income tax in Washington state and no sales tax in Oregon. But you have to like rain!

        1. ONLY if you live on the WEST side!! The EAST side of WA & OR is dry. We also are on the bottom of the list as far as the state government is concerned.

      3. live in washington state, shop in oregon….so…live in a berg along the border of washington/oregon….both states have cheap lic. plates also…live in a high dollar motorhome…no property tax…park where you can…move as much as you want….coast today…mountains next day…some areas with warmer winters…some cold…your choice…or leave altogether in winter….

        1. @bradley, that sounds like an enjoyable lifestyle. The Mrs. and I are looking into purchasing a 5th-wheel so as to mobilize ourselves when we feel inclined.

      4. Your question was asked long ago but on the odd chance you were not told – Oregon has no sales tax, Washington has no income tax. So live in in Washington just north of Portland, Oregon across the Columbia River and shop in Oregon.

      5. That would be Wyoming with no state income tax and Montana with no state sales tax.

      6. Oregon has no sales tax; Washington has no income tax. Vancouver, WA is on the Oregon border separated by the Columbia River. Access is over I-5 and I-205. Retailers on the Oregon side do a bustling business from people with Washington.

      7. Wyoming and Montanna border. Live in Wyoming purchase items in Montanna

      8. That would be to live in WA state – preferably Vancouver(no income tax) and to shop in Portland, OR (across the river) with 0% sales tax.
        Now STOP SHOUTING!

    2. yes, like Washington and Oregon. Especially since the nice little city of Vancouver WA is right across the Columbia from Portland. I live in Nebraska and this so called conservative state taxes everything. Income tax, sales tax, property tax and licence fees. We are no where near the low end of any of them. Makes you wonder how they define conservative. My husband and I are trying to figure out where they spend the money since the state ranks 50th in support for public eduacation.

      1. Thank your lucky stars that the money is not being spent on government education. Spending in this category is like high level welfare – more money does not yield better students.

        1. Better teachers do, and they cost more money. Make sports private and not sponsor professional in schools.

        2. You are correct. I am a teacher, and much of the budget is geared toward sports. If we need to keep sports, how about it supports itself like many other extra-curricular activities do, such as band and chorus.

      2. I’m in NE too and can not wait to get out. They tax us to death, property tax up every year and there is SOOOOO much welfare abuse. People actually move here to get on welfare. Only about 40% work and pay for the other 60% to be on the government bottle.

      1. I believe the reference was implied to be along the Washington / Oregon border.

    3. It’s raining almost every freakin’ day. Not only that, the people in oregon thinks they’re smarter than the rest of the country. Ego-testicle arrogant freak. My friend moved out of Vancouver Wa for the same exact reasons. His whole family were so depressed then left just after 8 gloomy months.

    4. One location is……live in Columbia, Washington which is across the Columbia river from the State of Washington.

    5. That would be me. I live & work in Washington state and drive over the bridge (15 minutes from my home) and Oregon has no sales tax.

  2. The last I heard, the Tax Freedom Day (the date which all the money you earn goes into YOUR pocket and not the tax man——-in America it is mid-April.

    Here in Canada it is mid to late June.

    Count your blessings.


    Tapped Out Canuck

    1. But we in the US pay a lot more for health care, from what I understand.
      Tax wise, Canadians are probably better off in the long run if health care is covered by taxes.

      1. Sadie, there’s a difference between being ‘covered’by gov’t health care plan and recieving adequate treatment. The number of Canadians travelling to the North-Eastern USA for treatment indicates their ‘national health system is as screwed up as ours in Australia. You’re better off with low taxes and private health insurance, believe me.

      2. Sadie,

        I’ve lived in Canada for over 20 years pretty much in every province, and I can say this that the health care in Canada its in deep jeopardy. It wont be too long that it will go bankrupt expect maybe only two provinces British Colombia and Alberta. I can say that the system we have here in US its much better than Canada or even EU which I have also lived you can control your own expenses and make your own personal choices not the government. I hope this can help :)

        1. Actually, public healthcare in Canada is exceedingly popular. Few Canadians I know would ever trade the Canadian system for the US system, and I speak as a doctor who has practiced in this country for 24 years. While the Canadian system isn’t perfect, (particularly for physicians), pretty well everyone is covered and no one goes broke worrying about medical fees. In the US you’re told about how we have lines for care; I can tell you my sister was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. She went to her family physician, who sent her to a neurologist, who ordered an MRI and sent her to a neurosurgeon, who sent her to an endocrinologist (as the tumor was in the pituitary and they needed baseline hormone levels), where she got labwork, and she had the surgery with that whole process taking 10 days. She showed her Care Card (like a drivers license) and there was no cost and no paperwork. Personally, I’m pleased to pay taxes for my health care.

        2. Really?? Then why is it that so many Canadians come to the STATES for surgery and heavy health care??

        3. Really? We were just on a high-end cruise with several Canadians on board. Without exception, they liked their health care program. While you are watching Fox News, ask yourself why Scandinavians outlive us or why we have one of the highest infsnt mortality rates of any industrialized country.

        4. The U.S. healthcare system is controlled by the pharmaceutical companies and not by the U.S. goverrnment, profit over policy, lobbyist’s over logic. When I last checked only the U.S. and New Zealand allowed drug companies to “advertise” new syndromes such as restless leg synrome (really??), dry eye syndrome and countless others. The intent is for people to be convinced that they have issues that only drug company “A’s” pill can cure when in reality there are no issue at all. Most global citizens never see an ad explaining a disease and advising the cure, but us American’s are inundated with such ad’s on TV and radio hourly.

        5. Hi Eileen,

          This innundation of TV ads by pharmaceuticals encouraging TV watchers to ask their doctor for this or that medicine, on top of offering ‘free trials’ directly has been prohibited prior to approximately 2005 under bush/cheney. It is worse then ever!!!! Plus, cymbalta which is a very powerful serotonin uptake inhibiter for major depression and mental disease is being sold like candy as a pain reliever that is not narcotic. Well it isn’t a narcotic but it is worse for many people when they try to stop taking it as the withdrawal from Cymbalta without a physician’s oversight can be deadly or at least a living h*ll. Yet it is marketed as a safe alternative to narcotics for pain and physicians are prescribing for arthritis etc. Expensive, not a pain reliever, dangerous ‘medication’ advertised like M and M’s to the viewing audience. So much to the FCC. Get rid of them and save us money and lives!

        6. You are spot on. Big business runs the country. Big business has one agenda, bigger business. It has to in order to survive. We are all in a hellish growth model. A company starts out benevolent, and then it reaches a size where benevolence goes out the window and a fear-survival mode takes over. Monsanto is a perfect example of benevolence turned evil. They started out saving the world from hunger and now they are a pure evil.

          All people should be taught that the dollar is THE VOTE, not the polls. Research ALL of your purchases, be wary of all western medicines. Western medicine will harm you permanently, research alternatives or pay dearly.

      3. Just so you know, the US had a single payer government run system that is exceedingly popular called medicare. And here is the kicker, it costs as much as Canada’s healthcare system (which covers everyone) per capita. Us US citizens are paying double what Canadians are paying.

      4. Ask them about Danny Williams. . . Why did Danny Williams (PM) go to the United States to have heart surgery???? LOL! Don’t let ’em give you any B.S. . .

  3. You should recheck your sources. As a lifetime resident of the great state of Montana I can assure you that we do not have nor have we ever had a state sales tax. There are a few scattered high traffic tourist areas like the town of West Yellowstone with a local resort tax but this is only in the tourist shops even there. Knowing this I question the accuracy of the rest of the information presented here.

    1. @George D, The state sales tax list includes maximum local surtax (as indicated in the header title of that section). Evidently there are some items that are taxed in Montana. However, for all intents and purposes, Montana has no general sales tax.

      (I will edit and clarify the post to reflect this however – thanks for the heads-up)

      1. As for your info on Alaska!
        Other than less than a half dozen towns that have sales tax, there is NO State sales tax!
        But the state. As well as towns make a bundle from the state and local revenuers dressed in uniforms and having their own vehicles to chase down the rubes for collection!!

  4. In Mobile, Alabama one side of the city has 8.5% sales tax and when you cross the interstate it goes up to 10%. I think that’s crazy to have different sales tax for each side of town. The shopping malls are on the side of the 10% sales tax, LOL

    1. I agree… the entire tax system is messed up. If there must be taxes, I’ve always preferred the idea of equal and flat taxes.

  5. well if O’Malley get’s his way in Maryland we will have the highest taxes around!!!!

    1. Yea..MD also throws tons of fees on top of the already craptastic taxes
      rain “fees” for example hiding it as something other then taxes
      and balto city property taxes are even higher…

    2. You think that is pretty bad? Come move in with California. Property tax is increasing before the assessed value of your home goes up. And even when the crash of property last 2008, still they would not lower the tax unless you give proof that you property value was less now than before. Now here is the kicker you buy a vehicle they charged you two dollars fee for each tire disposal. Ha! I was buying a brand new car ? Why would I’d be charge disposal fee? You discard electronics equipment they charged you disposal fee. Vehicle registration is probably three times more expensive compared to some other states. Sales tax on goods and services 8- 9 percent. Even up to ten depending on what city your in. Yet the state population keeps growing due to government services and hand outs, being provided such as the SSI. MediCal. Etc. the place is crawling with “no loads” and highway is crowded with traffic from another country whose vehicles are not either California smog, nor insured. Companies from what I’ve heard are moving out for they are being squeezed either; by the EPA and state regs. And taxes.

  6. Not all of Illinois sales tax is at 11.5% I live in Southern Illinois which is part of the state even if chicago doesn’t want us any more than we want them. Our county sales tax is 6.25% The City tax is 7.5%.

    1. It sounds like the further from Chicago, the better ;)
      It is amazing the differences in taxes from county to county or city to city…

  7. I would say this is good for general info. In New York the state says tax is 4 % and then counties add their own. Where I live it totals 8 %. Nearby counties pay more or less. It also depends on what is taxable. Groceries are not taxable, soap, pop, etc is taxable. Some clothing is taxable. Nearby in Pennsylvania clothing is not taxable. Some states everything is taxable. As for property taxes a $ 100,000 house in New York State would cost $ 250,000 in Virginia and cost $ 60,000 in Arkansas. Everyone must do a through self study on this, however I find this site a very good place to start. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Chuck. Yes it is a highly complex set of data to dig into. There are so many ‘hidden’ taxes, and tax on top of tax, all of which is highly variable depending on lcation. It’s nearly impossible to get a handle on it. (I think ‘they’ like it this way)

  8. ken…..keep up the great job you are doing…….i appreicate your hard work……..as you state…..it is info that each person has to some more digging…..but a good start

  9. It’s Info like that, persuades people to keep returning to a fantastic resource like this site. Keep up the great work.

  10. I live in Illinois and the local sales taxes on a $1.00 cup of McDonald’s coffee can range from $.07 up to $.12.
    Can you believe that, paying $.12 to the Looters for a cup of coffee. Not to mention DunkinDonuts is twice the price and Starbucks is 3 times.

    1. I do believe it… The government LOVES to tax things like that. After all, who can live without caffeine? They’ve got you… Just like taxing gasoline, etc. So many taxes. And we somehow have more than $15 Trillion of debt?!

      1. They’ll probably thrsut a VAT on us, but they’ll forget to remove the income tax Hey, let’s just do both Technology and efficiency is constantly putting people out of work, and we keep adding more workers to the work force. In good times, maybe all those surplus workers can become musicians, sell Avon, or become merry maids. But with government screwing things up, higher unemployment/underemployment might progress.Manufacturing of ipods or anything is becoming more and more mechanized it sure seems it will get rougher for the average worker. The good thing is a nice standard of living can be had for not much money. But managing distribution or redistribution of wealth/jobs might make for some angst. Maybe competition would bring more services to more people merry maids and child care for more commoners ? Better care for the elderly? To some degree we’ve already had this problem, with government and unions providing cushy lifetime employment, often for those that might have more trouble competing in the open market. Perhaps a working welfare program would be needed, but they should make less than the privater sector, not much more with early retirement and lifetime super benefits.A vibrant middle class might keep a whole economy humming, but constant trillion dollar stumbles by big government keeps crippling the capitalist/socialist mix we have now.

  11. Thanks for putting this together, moved last year and it helps me decide where to claim most of my income last year.

  12. The current income tax rate in IL is now 5%, not 3%…Politicos raised it last year and now people are moving out, inc. business.

    1. Thanks for that data point Dave, I am hoping to update this entire article with a new one, once I can capture all of the most recent facts (which often lag a year behind). I have a feeling that we will all be experiencing more tax increases in our future as the politicians struggle to pay for their lavish spending of years gone by.

  13. It may seem strange, but I think I’ll add this site/blog to my resources for retirement planning. While I do hope for the best, I realize that planning for the worst is the smart move. What money I do have for retirement, I will purchase a piece of land in a state with a low tax burden but has soil capable of a reasonable range of vegitables. Oh yeah, good hunting required (at least nearby). Putting the puzzle pieces together…

    1. I’d love to do just that, too. Have you found anything like you proposed? We are searching for the same.

  14. I’m not sure where each individual state information originated, but I see Alaska shows a 7% state sales tax. This is untrue, there is NO state sales tax in Alaska. It is also possible there is no property tax for Seniors, but since I haven’t reached that plateau as of yet, I haven’t checked further; have only heard that it’s true. But, I do know I pay NO sales tax where I live, 2.5% if I’m shopping in Palmer, and 3% in Wasilla, with both of those being city taxes, only.

    1. @Sue Ann, you may not have read this paragraph which is immediately prior to the list, “This sales tax list includes the base rate plus the maximum local surtax that may exist in that State (this surtax inclusion is typically only on certain goods and may slightly skew some State results – but I wanted to include a worst-case scenario). Your sales tax rates may be lower if living outside of the surtaxed area or not purchasing a surtaxed product.

      In other words, the list includes any surtax (a unique tax on ‘some’ products, and in ‘some’ places) that may exist there. The next update that I make will not include this scenario because it has thrown a bit of confusion into the mix, which was not intended.

  15. Well done on this compilation, it provides a great starting point where assessing where to retire to.

  16. We are paying local taxes to support a minority in state and local govts in useless jobs and beuacracy. The only taxes s/b for schools and fire and police all of which shld be priority.the rest is a waste!

    1. “This sales tax list includes the base rate plus the maximum local surtax that may exist in that State (this surtax inclusion is typically only on certain goods and may slightly skew some State results – but I wanted to include a worst-case scenario). Your sales tax rates may be lower if living outside of the surtaxed area or not purchasing a surtaxed product.”

      In other words, the list includes any surtax (a unique tax on ‘some’ products, and in ‘some’ places) that may exist there. The next update that I make will not include this scenario because it has thrown a bit of confusion into the mix, which was not intended.

  17. House taxes in Connecticut are ridiculous. I have to get out of this state.

  18. Nebraska raised my property taxes 11.5% to $7000 without my making any new improvements. AVOID NEBRASKA; it is not the “Good Life” they claim!

  19. Move to NJ and I will guarantee you will all quiet down about how high your taxes are in the other 49 and start reminiscing about how good you had it. I don’t need to start throwing out numbers cause people in other states don’t believe me when i do. It is something you have to experience the first time you crack open that $15,300 annual property tax bill on a 3 bedroom 2 car garage ranch on a 1/3rd acre and yes I still have to pay for private trash collection. What do we get for our property taxes? We get to work harder and die younger in a 60 year old home.

    I started looking out of state and when a Realtor cautions us on the high property taxes of Northern VA. we laugh cause it is usually less for a year than our first quarterly payment. fingers crossed we can land jobs in another state.

  20. I live in NY on long Island. What burns my butt is buying a car in NY where the tax rate is 8.65%. That is bad enough but where it gets worse is NY fully taxes rebates on cars.

    So if you buy a $25,000 car and there are $5,000 in manufacturer rebates, you wind up paying taxes on the full $25,000.

    $5,000 rebate taxed at 8.65% is $432.50 extra. This is totally criminal IMHO!!!!

  21. Best love the rain, the fog, the cold, the dark cloudy skies. Make reservations ahead when you find out what day summer is! But low state income tax, no sales tax, low car registration fees, many tax perks for seniors…you can quit paying your property tax at 62, and it will be paid later out of your estate

  22. Alaska has no state or property tax. Not sure where you got your info but i have lived in ak my whole life

    1. “This sales tax list includes the base rate plus the maximum local surtax that may exist in that State (this surtax inclusion is typically only on certain goods and may slightly skew some State results – but I wanted to include a worst-case scenario). Your sales tax rates may be lower if living outside of the surtaxed area or not purchasing a surtaxed product.”

      In other words, the list includes a worst case scenario including any surtax (a unique tax on ‘some’ products, and in ‘some’ places) that may exist there in some locales.

      The next update that I make will not include this scenario because it has thrown a bit of confusion into the mix, which was not intended.

    2. Alaska as a state does not tax individuals as far as Sales, income or property, however the local communities do have property and sales taxes that vary. I live on Kodiak Island and am taxed 7% on sales and about 1.5%/ yr on my property, I also pay other (hidden) taxes in the form of added charges to own property, which add about $500 to my property tax. There a lot of things like this to consider when one looks for the true cost of taxation on the individual.

      1. @Thomas, thanks for adding that information. It is wise to heed your advice (there are a lot of things to consider for the true cost of taxation). One way or the other, a government WILL find a way to tax, be it in plain site or hidden.

  23. hi, folks. i’m a fulltime rver and i love the call of the open road, but it does have its drawbacks. Generally, the west is best. Police and courts in maine and massachusetts are not rv friendly. Virginia, too. they all want us to change our out-of-state plates to theirs. Be sure u read their rules. If u stay only up to 6 months max, then no change applies. The locals don’t know this. Re real estate taxes: It really does depend where u live in these states. In Littleton, Mass, great town. tax is $6000/yr for median-priced home, has own power company so low rates. Close to everything, only 28 miles from Boston. Watch your speed in both ma and va. I pay only $500/yr in Topsfield, maine and in scott co. va its $145.00

    Why so low? you are in the sticks. no work and no to little services, but the country is beautiful. mass costs more, but mass has more. I was born there, lived there 70 years, and will be buried there. Meanwhile, I’m a gypsy, seeing the beautiful usa in my chevrolet (remember dinah shore show?)

  24. What a great site, and thank you for the wonderful information, which is SO CLEAR AND CONCISE…it is too bad that you have to keep repeating yourself because there are so many people who don’t understand what they read, or don’t bother to read ALL of the information provided! thanks, again!!

  25. Bartering is coming back they can’t tax what you’ve already paid for unless they make up a new trading tax…ooops, better not say that to loud.

    1. …or maybe they ban bartering (better not say that too loud either)

  26. Why not in Delaware?
    State Sales Tax Including any local surtax
    Delaware (0%)
    Income tax
    Delaware (7%)
    Property Tax average
    Delaware ($ 950)
    We are a couple who is getting married, we would like to move together in a convenient area to open a business (pastry or antiques – we are still thinking about it). we live in Pennsylvania, but there fees are high.
    What do you recommend?

    1. Regarding the three major taxes (sales, income, and property), Delaware is favorable compared to most others. I can’t recommend one place or another because there are so many more variables within the reasoning behind why someone would move – and the differences in requirements that we all have in finding a new home or region to live in. No doubt that my own opinion would be different from yours ;)

      My own experiences have revealed that so long as you do your research and due diligence… when the ‘right’ thing comes along… you will know it in your gut. Trust your instinct.

  27. Well…… Now I know why this country is so friggin screwed up. Half of the posters couldn’t make it through a simple explanation of the data provided! How do you vote? Pick your favorite color? Maybe the guy with the nice tie!? All a bunch of sheep. Half the citizens in this country make me sick. And I live in Jersey so I have every right to be pissed off! Great article by the way.

  28. No matter where any of you live, feel Lucky. I live in California or Calimexico if you want. If you live here, get the hell out. If you think you want to move here, YOU ARE CRAZY|

    1. @Alan, LOL, I used to live there, and I did get the hell out… ;) What a mess.

  29. Ken,

    I just wanted to add some additional information regarding property taxation in Texas. Property taxes here (not sure how the rest of the states handle it) include school taxes as well as county and city taxes. We just built a home outside city limits and the closest school is 20 miles away. We did qualify for an agricultural exemption so 10 of our acres is taxed at about $30 per year (dirt cheap). However, our home is another story. At 400k value our property tax for the home is approx $12k per year. Outrageous considering that in that amount we pay no city taxes. 95% of that figure is the school tax. Since we are considered to be “way out there” we are not given a school tax break nor do we have school bus services that come down our county road. We have to drive the kids to a bus stop 2 miles away. If I place my children on the bus both morning and night, they will spend 3 hours of their total day just being transported to school and back home (2 miles away).

    The reason I am mentioning this to you is because we were clueless when we built. There are other financial factors than taxes to consider when deciding to move to a particular state, city, county. We thought we were building our forever home and we are not so sure about that anymore. Paying that amount in school tax for a lifetime is a hard pill to swallow.


    1. Thanks for that insight Marlene. Taxes are often difficult to nail down, because there are so many hidden taxes or various ‘creative’ methods to tack on taxes. One way or another the state needs to obtain revenue, and they each do it in their own way – some more visible than others. Not only that, but the state budget and how the state is managed is a big factor in its fiscal health while going into the future. $12K per year property tax is a very hard pill to swallow.

    2. That is how Illinois is too. I pay $8,000/yr and live in a house I could sell for around $250,000. Plus we have one of the highest sales and income tax. Don’t move here! Let me not forget the schools are some of the oldest in the nation and they are not as good as some may think.

    3. please vote with your $. 400k on property??? in Texas???
      we have direct influence over them, if u didn’t “own” that,
      they wouldn’t send u a bill. it’s not your fault, nobody
      taught you. year after year, people all over the U.S.
      insist on living like this. A bad deal is worse than no deal.
      on the other hand, all 3 branches of fed gov’t, need to be part-time volunteer
      positions and nominated by their neighbors to “go” to Wash. and
      represent their “village”. It works fairly well that way.
      Bless u Marlene.

    4. I know this is really late since I just discovered this blog, but are you in a situation where homeschooling would be an option for you? I homeschooled my son for a few years when I became unhappy with our local school system, and found it to be a great experience for both of us. I especially liked that I could control what and how he learned. I know I was lucky to be able to do that at the time and it would not work out for everyone, but that would take care of the issue of transporting your children for school.

  30. The key is to live in states with excellent school districts when you have school age children. NY, NJ, CT, MA, CA.,IL. and several other high tax states have the best schools in the country but mostly in the burbs(outside the cities). These states also have some of the best state college/university systems. Then once you’ve educated your kids move to places like Fl., Ga,. Al. etc. with low school/property tax with equally low school ratings!

  31. You will pay 18+% sales tax on parking your car in Manhattan if not a resident of Manhattan. You pay the state + local + addl. 6% S/T on car rentals in NYS. Renting from JFK? You will pay 14.625% sales tax. Hard liquor (from a liquor store) in NY, will have 40-50% taxes included. The same goes for the gasoline here where there are many taxes already charged on the supplier BEFORE sales tax. The sale tax is calculated on the various other taxes already included! You can be paying $6000 of property and school taxes on a $100,000 pr0perty in the city of Schenectady with terrible schools and 10 miles away in Colonie, NY pay the same $6k on a $350,000 property and be in one of the safest rated towns in US with two excellent school districts.

    1. Yes, it is all VERY deceiving in that it is difficult, if not impossible to quantify all of the tax being paid, which varies fairly widely as you mention. One thing for certain… there is too much of it!

  32. In central Illinois we pay for the Chicago Assclown mess with our tax money. We are planning to remove the stone facade from our home and replace with vertical board siding for $1500/yr less tax.

  33. I am proud to live in Ohio but will be even happier after I get my degree and move to Tennessee.

  34. ok well heres a question. where can i move on the east coast where there is a balance of everything for example if you live in new jersey you pay the highest property tax

    1. That is a question that only you can answer, because only you know the entirety of what you may be looking for. Everyone has their own factors and weight that they apply to their own conditions. I suggest that you brainstorm a list of ideals, wants, needs, and qualifications of what you’re looking for, and then prioritize the list. Realize that you will never find the perfect place, and then start researching locations based on your own personal priorities. You might start with the States themselves, and then narrow down further to regions within those states (there is a fairly wide variance within some states). There are lots of resources on the internet to discover facts (and opinions).

      Since you mentioned property tax specifically, I will suggest to you that any given state needs revenue and they must get it somewhere. The problem lies with states that have high taxes overall, and/or big budgets, big government, etc. Your example of New Jersey is definitely NOT a choice that I would make for a multitude of reasons, but for the sake of comparing another high property tax state, New Hampshire is also one of the highest property tax states in the country but at the same time there is no income tax or sales tax, and may be one of the most free states in the country. Not only that, but many of the towns within New Hampshire have very LOW property taxes. You just have to search…

      Point being, there are wide variances and there are many solid generalities to be made. It takes due-diligence with respect to your own qualifying factors to decide where is the right place for you.

  35. I would like to know about Guam , Guam is part of us territory , how much is home property tax ?

  36. Well Rhode Island it is like the taxes are so high because it all goes to support the high welfare population. Businesses are taxed to the hilt not a good state unless you live off of welfare.

  37. Live in very small upstate NY village. On an assessed value of approx. $130,000 home, we pay over $7,000 in property taxes! Does not include garbage (have to buy bags, etc.) All is due to public sector unions, so someone above who stated that we should pay high taxes for police, fire and teachers must be one of them. They are the drain on NY state. 80% of our village expense is for salaries and big bennies for the employees and most of the mayors elected to this small place are wanted for their lack of intelligence and/or will to play the game. We also have a per student expense of over $15,000 per student! Ban public sector unions…they are killing the US. Thanks for allowing me to vent!

  38. This is a wonderful site. I have lived in Florida all my life and was considering a “cooler” place. I will need to do a lot of homework. My taxes do not seem so bad here. For a $150k home, my COUNTY property taxes are about $1300 which includes school, fire, and garbage. Sales Tax is 7% in my county. (Property taxes are higher in the cities.) I will say they are trying to minimize the amount of garbage with the NOW once a week COUNTY (or CITY) standard garbage can — which garbage becomes the government property once you put your garbage can out by the curb. Also there is a “RFID chip” in the handle which is read when the truck lifts the can to empty. Big Brother is everywhere!

  39. After 60 years in NY, we moved to Las Vegas, NV. Property tax here is about 1% of the value of your home. If the purchase price of your home is $200,000, RE tax is $2,000. There’s no state income tax. Electricity is cheaper than in NY. Gasoline is closer to the low end national average. Food shopping is less than in NY. This is a right to work state, NY is union. What drives me crazy is why the people chose to re- elect Harry Reid. Maybe he’s good for Nevada, but he’s lousy for the country.
    Aside from that, the roads here are great, getting around is a pleasure. Major shopping malls, great entertainment in the casino show rooms. Seniors save on some show tickets if you live here. Some buffets offer 2/1 if you live here ( locals are treated pretty good). Overall, even with the housing bust, this is still a good place to live. Summers are extremely hot. It can be 105* in the hottest part of the day from mid June to early September at the worst. Humidity, however is low, so you don’t get that clammy sweat feeling as you would on summer day in NY when the temp is 85* and the humidity is 95. Some folks leave for the summer as they do in Florida. There is no Heaven on earth, you need to give and take, and everyone has different likes and dislikes. I like it here.

  40. All about taxes: whose are higher, whose are lower, what’s taxed, what isn’t, ad infinitum. How about passing the FairTax? I know its purpose is to replace the Federal Income Tax with a consumption tax–but how about doing it on a state level? Part of the FairTax is the repeal of the 16th Amendment–the Income Tax. States could obviously not repeal the Federal Income Tax, but a state could indeed repeal its own state income tax–as about 9 have already. That’s why the states supported mainly by a sales’ tax (such as Florida, Texas, Tennessee, South Dakota, Arizona–I think I have those right)are doing so much better economically than the states with a very high income tax: New York, California, Massachussets, Connecticut, etc…). But if a state passed a law to have a state income tax, it would be ESSENTIAL that the state do two things: 1) Repeal the state income tax and 2) tax all new goods and services. It should be a state FairTax based on the FairTax now in the House Ways & Means Committee. The FairTax isn’t perfect–but what a wonderful thing compared with what we now have!

  41. Oops – Correction: Third from the last sentence should say: “But if a state passed a law to have a state FAIR TAX (not income tax), it would be ESSENTIAL that the state do two things: 1)Repeal the state income tax and 2) tax all new goods and services.

    1) It would be terrible to have a state sales tax on top of a state income tax (the way many states do today). That would defeat the purpose. The sales tax should bring in the same amount of money the income tax does now–same amount of revenue to the states.

    2) Tax all new goods and services. That means all new goods are taxed with no exemptions (for food or medicine, etc…) New goods–but not used goods. Services are already taxed (but it’s hidden). That’s why you pay more for a hamburger at the Ritz-Carlton than you do for a hamburger from McDonald’s.

    No tax on corporations (they just pass the tax on to consumers who buy from them) and no tax on investments (including money spent on education). By the way, several states are working on a state FairTax–and Georgia is one of them.

  42. Cannot believe how high the property tax.are people dumb? Come on America.

  43. In Texas there is no sales tax on food and prescriptions.
    No state income tax
    So shop online. Buy food local and find some cheap property to lower the property Tax.
    If you get enough land you add some farm animals and reduce your property taxes with a ranch deduction.
    Makes it a VERY inexpensive place to live.

  44. A country cannot exist cleanly and peacefully without taxes, let alone defend itself from national threats. I don’t mind paying my taxes. That said, I’ve been a commission-earning professional for most of my life, and I’ve had some ridiculously strong years as well as some very lean ones. We’ve had to learn to spend accordingly – we manage our base bills in a way that we could make it through lean times, then when the good years come we are flush with cash. (In other words, we set our rent & payments at a level that we’d be able to pay even in the thin times, and we don’t over-commit to credit, etc., in the good times). If we did it the other way around, we’d be fine in good years but would go bankrupt in lean ones! The federal government’s income is similar – taxes are, essentially, commission on what you and I earn. I don’t mind giving them their share for roads, police, firemen, the military and yes – I’d even support a healthcare system more like Canada’s or those found across Europe (you will not find a Canadian or Englishman who’d trade our system for theirs, no matter your opinion – ask them, not yourself or Fox news). A version of a flat tax would be fair. Eliminate all loopholes – you earn x, you pay x, and it’s at the same rate as everyone else, with perhaps an exception for the extremely poor and the extremely rich, who in my opinion should be allowed to pay a little less or more, respectively. The government should learn how to live within a budget that is easily maintained, and save for the lean years, just like I do. If I have a lean year I can’t force my employer to raise my commission percentage so I can pay the outlandish bills I’ve created in good times. The government shouldn’t be able to do that, either.

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