Between income taxes, property taxes and sales taxes, you may be paying more to your state government than you even want to think about. As April approaches, though, it’s good to assess your overall tax bite and find out whether you are living in one of the worst states for taxes in the country. And if you are considering a move any time soon, tax considerations may play a part in your decision.
To find out which states have the worst taxes, we’ve turned to the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation’s 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index, a ranking of all 50 states. The foundation doesn’t simply look at which states have the highest tax rates. Yes, it dings states if their taxes are high, but also if they are overly complex (think lots of brackets) or deemed unfair to certain individuals (think marriage penalty).
New Jersey came in second on the worst states for taxes list last year, but ranks No. 1 for 2015. Of particular note is its high income taxes. But high property taxes, as well as both an inheritance and an estate tax, help it land at No. 1 on the list.
New York dropped to second worst because it implemented some corporate tax reforms. Taxes on businesses are factored in the Tax Foundation rankings because the group believes business taxes affect economic growth and overall prosperity in a state.
North Carolina, which ranked seventh worst last year, was the most improved state thanks to its tax reforms. It gained 28 spots on the list and is now ranked 16th overall– the biggest jump in the history of the index. Also improved: Nebraska jumped five spots to rank 29th overall and North Dakota climbed two spots to 25th from the top.
Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana and Maine each fell several notches in the overall rankings, but still did not number among the 10 worst states for taxes in 2015.
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