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Live Free Or Die: State Taxes

Updated on January 31, 2015

Live Free or Die

As I enter my final semester of school, I am looking forward to all of the strings I will finally be free of, with the completion of my degree. I will no longer be tethered to this area by the fact that my degree is a mere matter of classes away. I've never planned on not finishing and that has kept me rooted to this area. As the end of my collegiate journey draws near, I find myself thinking about the future more and more, and where that future will take place.

After my "senior year" of college, I was still a few classes short of my degree, but decided not to go back right away. I had a lot going on at home at the time, and my heart wasn't into the learning in the way it should have been... for the money I was paying per class.

During that time however, I did become a Restaurant Manager for a few years, before stepping down in late 2013, to finally go back and finish my classes. I am still in financially stable position, because I have chosen to live with my Father for the few months that I am finishing classes, and paying for school out of pocket. During the time I was working as an Manager on salary however, and paying my rent for my condo, I gained significant new respect for the cost of living expenses.

Taxes! Lets talk about those babies for a second. As an AGM of a busy restaurant, my salary was a decent number, for a 25 year old. If you took that number and divided it by the 52 weeks in a year, it definitely looked like I could have been rich, but my take home was significantly different once the taxes hit my paycheck. I know that my Federal Taxes alone ate about $160 worth of my paycheck on a weekly basis. This is in the state of NH mind you, so I was free of being taxed on my earned income by my state and yet the amount of tax dollars taken out of my check each week, still significantly effected my spending capabilities. I can't imagine trying to get by if I had a state income tax dipping into that paycheck also.

With that said, I got to thinking about the fact that where I live in NH, it would be financially smarter to shop and work in NH and live in Massachusetts. I started wondering about the cost of living in other states above and beyond the median rent price. What do the property, income and sales tax of the states look like? I have told myself that by the end of May I will be sending my resume off to any and all of the dream jobs, that are hiring and I may qualify for, no matter where in the country they are located.

While I love my states motto, and natural landscape up north, I don't feel the pull to stay in the area that I once did. I have decided to familiarize myself with the economic conditions, that paint the picture of what living and working, in any given state looks like. I hope this collected information becomes a useful reference for anyone else in a similar situation to myself.

Income Tax- Bracketing

Much like federal tax brackets, many states operate on a bracket system. I have listed the income ranges for the tax brackets. Some states have very low bracket numbers, and if you make more than the the higher of the two numbers, you will be taxed for the highest bracket.

Income Tax

State/Territory/District
Tax Brackets
% Taxed On Earned Income By State
Alabama
$500 - $3,001
2% - 5%
Alaska
NONE
NONE
Arizona
$10,000 - $150,001
2.59% - 4.54%
Arkansas
$4,199 - $34,600
1% - 7%
California
$7,582 - $508,500
1% - 12.3%
Colorado
FLAT RATE
4.63%
Connecticut
$10,000 - $250,000
3% - 6.7%
Delaware
$5,000 - $60,001
2.2% - 6.6%
Florida
NONE
NONE
Georgia
$750 - $7,001
1% - 6%
Hawaii
$2,400 - $200,001
1.4% - 11%
Idaho
$1,409 - $10,568
1.6%- 7.4%
Illinois
FLAT RATE
5%
Indiana
FLAT RATE
3.4%
Iowa[37]
$1,515 - $68,175
0.36% - 8.98%
*Kansas
$15,000.00
4.6%
Kentucky
$3,000 - $75,001
2% - 6%
Louisiana
$12,500 - $50,001
2% - 6%
Maine
$5,200 - $20,900
0% - 7.95%
Maryland
$1,000 - $250,000
2% - 5.75%
Massachusetts
FLAT RATE
5.2%
Michigan
FLAT RATE
4.25%
Minnesota
$24,680 - $152,541
5.35% - 9.85%
Mississippi
$5,000 - $10,001
3% - 5%
Missouri
$1,000 - $9,001
1.5% - 6%
Montana
$2,700 - $16,400
1% - 6.9%
Nebraska
$3,000 - $29,000
2.46% - 6.84%
Nevada
NONE
NONE
New Hampshire
NONE
NONE
New Jersey
$20,000 - $500,000
1.4% - 8.97%
New Mexico
$5,500 - $16,001
1.7% - 4.9%
New York
$8,200 - $1,029,250
4% - 8.82%
North Carolina
FLAT RATE
5.8%
North Dakota [38]
$36,900- $405,100
1.22% - 3.22%
Ohio[39]
$5,000 - $200,000
0.534% - 5.392%
Oklahoma
$1,000 - $8,701
0.5% - 5.25%
Oregon
$3,250 - $125,000
5% - 9.9%
Pennsylvania
FLAT RATE
3.07%
Rhode Island
$59,000 - $135,500
3.75% - 5.99%
South Carolina
$2,880 - $14,400
0.0% - 7%
South Dakota
NONE
NONE
Tennessee
NONE
NONE
Texas
NONE
NONE
Utah
FLAT RATE
5%
Vermont
$36,900 - $405,100
3.55% - 8.95%
Virginia
$3,000 - 17,001
2% - 5.75%
Washington
NONE
NONE
West Virginia
$10,000 - $60,000
3% - 6.5%
Wisconsin
$7,500 - $225,000
4.4% - 7.65%
Wyoming
NONE
NONE

Property Tax Rates By State

Ranking
State
Median Property Tax
1
New Jersey
1.89%
2
New Hampshire
1.86%
3
Texas
1.81%
4
Nebraska
1.76%
5
Wisconsin
1.76%
6
Illinois
1.73%
7
Connecticut
1.63%
8
Michigan
1.62%
9
Vermont
1.59%
10
North Dakota
1.425
11
Ohio
1.36%
12
Rhode Island
1.35%
13
Pennsylvania
1.35%
14
Iowa
1.29%
15
Kansas
1.29%
16
South Dakota
1.28%
17
New York
1.23%
18
Maine
1.09%
19
Minnesota
1.05%
20
Massachusettes
1.04%
21
Alaska
1.04%
22
Florida
.97%
23
Washington
.92%
24
Missouri
.91%
25
Maryland
.87%
26
Oregon
.87%
27
Indiana
.85%
28
Nevada
.84%
29
Georgia
.83%
30
Montana
.83%
31
North Carolina
.78%
32
California
.74%
33
Oklahoma
.74%
34
Virginia
.74%
35
Arizona
.72%
36
Kentucky
.72%
37
Idaho
.69%
38
Tennasee
.68%
39
Colorado
.60%
40
Utah
.60%
41
Wyoming
.58%
42
New Mexico
.55%
43
Mississippi
.52%
44
Arkansas
.52%
45
South Carolina
.50%
46
West Virginia
.49%
47
District Of Columbia
.46%
48
Delaware
.43%
49
Alabama
.33%
50
Hawaii
.26%
51
Louisiana
.18%
*The median property tax rates are displayed as a percentage of the property value. All Rates Obtained By Tax-rates.org

Sales Tax Information By State

State/Territory/District
BaseSales Tax
Total with MaxLocal Surtax
Alabama
4%
11%
Alaska
0%
7%
Arizona
5.6%
10.725%
Arkansas
6.5%
12%
California
7.5%
10%
Colorado
2.9%
10%
Connecticut
6.35%
6.35%
Delaware
0%
0%
District of Columbia
5.75%
5.75%
Florida
6%
7.5%
Georgia
4%
8%
Hawaii
4%
4.5%
Idaho
6%
8.5%
Illinois
6.25%
9.75%
Indiana
7%
7%
Iowa[37]
6%
7%
Kansas
6.15%
9.65%
Kentucky
6%
6%
Louisiana
4%
11%
Maine
5.5%
5.5%
Maryland
6%
6%
Massachusetts
6.25%
6.25%
Michigan
6%
6%
Minnesota
6.875%
7.875%
Mississippi
7%
7.25%
Missouri
4.225%
9.35%
Montana
0%
0%
Nebraska
5.5%
7.5%
Nevada
6.85%
8.1%
New Hampshire
0%
0%
New Jersey
7%
7%
New Mexico
5.125%
8.688%
New York
4%
8.875%
North Carolina
4.75%
7.50%
North Dakota [38]
5%
8%
Ohio[39]
5.75%
8%
Oklahoma
4.5%
11%
Oregon
0%
0%
Pennsylvania
6%
8%
Rhode Island
7%
7%
South Carolina
6%
9%
South Dakota
4%
6%
Tennessee
7%
9.75%
Texas
6.25%
8.25%
Utah
5.95%
8.35%
Vermont
6%
7%
Virginia
5.3%
6%
Washington
6.5%
9.6%
West Virginia
6%
7%
Wisconsin
5%
5.6%
Wyoming
4%
6%

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