Taxes in different states

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

In a previous post, we explored effective income tax rates. However, federal tax is not the only income-related burden on American citizens. Many states impose their own income tax upon their residents. Usually, they use the same bracket-based progressive taxation principle.

The Tax Foundation prepared a combined overview of state income tax brackets, and we organized it here into an interactive map. You can enter total income and specify filing status and number of dependents. You can also choose to map the dollar tax amount or effective tax rate (tax amount as a percentage of income). Please note that these numbers are only approximations of the actual tax since there are many specific details in tax calculation for some of the states that we left behind (e.g. age-based calculations, veteran status, disability and health status, among others). For this map, we only considered wage income.

A total of seven states collect no income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. New Hampshire and Tennessee only tax dividend and interest income, so we assumed zero for this visualization. Among the remaining states, eight have a single tax rate for all taxable income, while others use a bracket system.

States differ in deductions and exemptions and the way they calculate them. For example, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska and Oregon have tax exemptions in the form of a tax credit (reduce the dollar amount of the tax) instead of a deduction (reduce income before calculating tax).

The highest marginal tax rate is imposed in California: 13.3 percent for income above $1 million. However, Oregon holds the lead in effective rates for lower incomes, surpassing California on incomes below $520,000.

If we consider a single filer with no children and a high income, the top four states with the highest tax rates are Oregon, California, Minnesota and Hawaii — the effective tax rate in these states reaches over 8 percent. We encourage you to play with the map and see what estimated tax will be due for you in other states across the country.

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About Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

Alexander is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science. He currently holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Applied Math. He has experience working for industry major companies performing research in the fields of machine learning, data mining and natural language processing. In his free time, Alexander enjoys hiking, Nordic skiing and traveling.

Other posts by Alexander Fishkov:

4 thoughts on “Taxes in different states”

  1. Alexander,
    You say you have all these degrees in math, yet:
    “the top five states with the highest tax rates are Oregon, California, Minnesota and Hawaii. ”
    That looks like four to me.

    Also, on the map, the tax amount shows the same, regardless of income as indicated on the slider.

    1. Hi Doug,
      1. I can only see ‘top four states’ in the post text.
      2. To get the chart to update values you need to release the slider first. Map does not update while slider is moving, it uses the last position after your left mouse button is up.

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