Wondering how your state stacks up when it comes to the tax burden placed on its residents? New data released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that state taxes have increased almost everywhere.
State taxpayer burdens increased by an average of 41 percent from 1994 to 2004, the Census Bureau data says, with Alaska being the only state to collect fewer dollars per person over that time period.
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Alaska receives much of its revenue from oil production, which helped it to spend $12,294 per person in 2004, a figure that far surpasses what is spent in other states. Its state income tax receipts dropped 1 percent, to $2,035 per person.
Taxpayers in Hawaii pay the most to the state, at an average of $3,050 per person. Texans pay an average of $1,368 per person, the least in the country.
When it comes to tax receipts per person, the top collectors after Hawaii are Wyoming, Connecticut, Minnesota and Delaware. Texas, South Dakota, Colorado, New Hampshire and Alabama are the bottom five.
Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst at the National Council of State Legislatures, told the Associated Press that spending, and therefore taxes, have had to increase to keep up with rapidly rising education and Medicaid costs.
The state figures include sales taxes, personal income taxes and corporate income taxes. Budget shortfalls, early in the decade, led many states to raise taxes, but now many are looking at surpluses.
"Many states are having an unexpected surplus of revenue, and that is because of economic growth," said Stephen Slivinski, director of budget studies at the Cato Institute, told the AP. "It's mainly because their estimates on economic growth were very low."
Go to http://www.census.gov/govs/www/statetax.html
to read the U.S. Census Bureau information on state government tax collections.