Arizona lifeblood, thy name is federal government

By John S Kiernan | WalletHub

One big point of difference among state economies is the tax burden of the average citizen. This number varies greatly. But what are the reasons behind why some states tax their residents more or less?

If a state can afford not to tax its residents at high rates, there are multiple explanations. One is that their economic policies are sound and the state economy is doing well. But another is that the state gets disproportionately more funding from the federal government than states with harsher tax codes.

Americans have looked at federal assistance programs with growing scrutiny. According to a 2018 Rasmussen report, 61% of American adults think there are too many people receiving government financial aid. On the other hand, only 9% think not enough people are receiving funds. Regardless of overall trends, though, it is true that some states receive a far higher return on their federal income-tax contributions than others.

Just how big is this difference? And to what extent does it change our perception of state and local tax rates around the country? WalletHub sought to answer those questions by comparing the 50 states in terms of three key metrics. Read on for our findings, commentary from a panel of experts, and a detailed explanation of our methodology.


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