Wednesday, April 14, 2010

5 Least Tax-Friendly States to Live In

With tax season coming to an end, some taxpayers are satisfied with their tax bill or refund, while others are wondering if they might have paid more or less had they been living in another state. Using information collected by the Tax Foundation, Wallet Pop made a list of the five least tax-friendly states to live. I have included the first two states below, but be sure to checkout the full list here.

1. New Jersey. Not only does New Jersey have the worst NBA team record this year, they have the worst tax record as well. Taking into consideration state and local property, sales and income taxes, those in the Garden State pay out a whopping 11.8% in taxes.

It was no surprise that voters booted existing Governor John Corzine (D) out of office last fall in favor of GOP challenger Chris Christie. Voters cited the economy and the state's high tax burden as their biggest concerns -- a particularly timely gripe since taxes in the state had just gone up (again).

New Governor Christie initially received praise for his handling of what was, all agreed, a fairly substantial economic challenge. He cut spending and made some painful decisions on raising taxes to get the state's budget in order. But his "we're all in this together" stance took a beating when he refused to extend the tax rate to top earners.

Hopefully, the tax burden will turn around in the next four years ... or Christie may find himself joining in a revolving door of New Jersey governors.

2. New York. The Empire State just missed the dubious honor of getting the top spot with a total burden of 11.7% -- just 0.1% behind its neighbor, New Jersey. New York is generally regarded as an expensive place to live because of the cost associated with living in New York City, which has a total population of more than many states (about 19 million). But tax woes aren't limited to the city: The state of New York has been struggling to close an estimated $9 billion deficit. That means no tax cuts for residents. In fact, adding to its already high tax burden, New York is likely to see some additional taxes on everyday items shortly -- a tax on soda tops the list.

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