Tax Day can be a painful reminder of how much we have to invest in federal, state and local governments, though many of us are unaware of exactly what they give us in return. As a result, this creates a disconnect in the minds of taxpayers between the amount of money we should fork over on Tax Day (April 18 this year) – and how much we deserve in return.
Americans have looked at taxes with especially high scrutiny in recent years. In fact, 73% of people think the government doesn’t spend their tax dollars wisely, according to WalletHub’s Taxpayer Survey. We do know, however, that taxpayer return on investment, or ROI, varies based where one lives. Federal income-tax rates are uniform across the nation, yet some states receive far more federal funding than others.
Federal taxes and support are only part of the story, though. Different states have dramatically different tax burdens. This begs the question of whether people in high-tax states receive superior government services. Likewise, are low-tax states more efficient or do they receive low-quality services? In short, where do taxpayers get the most and least bang for their buck?
WalletHub aimed to answer that question by contrasting state and local tax collections with the quality of the services residents receive in each of the 50 states within five categories: Education, Health, Safety, Economy, and Infrastructure & Pollution. Our data set includes a total of 29 key metrics.
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