Deliver Us From Taxes

Thursday, September 09, 2004

I often gripe about how burdensome our current tax structure is and here I live in a state without a personal income tax! A new Reuters article shows how once again that the most prosperous states aren't the ones with Big Brother's hands down their pockets.

New Yorkers pay the highest state and local taxes in the nation, shelling out nearly $131 for every $1,000 of income in 2002, according to a new study.

Tennessee taxed its citizens the least -- they paid just under $84 for every $1,000 of income.

Massachusetts, ridiculed in the 1980s as "Taxachusetts" fell to 40th in 2002, as its residents only paid $96 in taxes for every $1,000 of income, according to a Boston-based business group.

On a gauge where a low ranking is positive, that was a marked improvement from a decade ago when Massachusetts came in 25th.

The study was done by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which assessed states' competitiveness using the most recent data available.

Taxes often play a big role when companies decide where to expand or relocate. For years, New York business groups have argued that high taxes have hurt job growth.

Five states have no personal income tax, and at least two of them, Florida and Nevada, are among the fastest-growing in the nation.

And we (Floridians) don't even have legalized gambling!
New York's tax system is the nation's most progressive, however. Its residents paid just more than $44 in personal income taxes per $1,000 of income, up about $2.50 from 1992.

"For Joe Blow, I think (the study) provides him with some context for his own feelings about what the tax burden feels like," said Cam Huff, senior research associate with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

Yes, and with the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks just two days away I don't think the people of New York need any more burdens on their shoulders, especially in the form of do-no-good taxes.