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Most progressive and regressive taxation states

  • Bestbudbrian // Wikicommons
    1/ Bestbudbrian // Wikicommons

    Most progressive and regressive taxation states

    Depending on who is asked, taxation may be perceived as outright theft or as a necessary mechanism by which governments can give back to their citizens via a handful of goods, services, and support programs. Whether or not there should be a difference in how much the wealthy pay in taxes versus how much those with less pay is a hotly contested political issue. At the heart of the debate are competing philosophies in the form of progressive and regressive taxation.

    A recent survey revealed that the average American pays just under $10,500 in federal, state, and local taxes on an annual basis, indicating an average effective tax rate of 29.8%. While this figure paints a good picture for the nation as a whole, there are a handful of factors that dictate the varying amounts of taxes paid by different American taxpayers, including which state they call home, and how much that state caters to the financial interests of their rich and poor citizens.

    Stacker used 2015 data from the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy to find out which states offer the most progressive and regressive tax policies. A regressive tax system is defined as one in which individuals with lower incomes pay a higher percentage in taxes than the rich, whereas a progressive one demands a larger percentage from those with higher incomes. Regressive tax systems are often characterized by flat tax rates, oftentimes in the form of sales or excise taxes, which uniformly impact all taxpayers regardless of income.

    One of the most prevalent debates surrounding the morality of taxation is what constitutes “equality” and “inequality,” with some claiming a flat tax treats everybody the same and others arguing the richer should pay back a higher percentage of their wealth since they have more to spare. Stacker ranked all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, according to the ITEP Tax Inequality index, which takes into account the percentages of wealth paid in total taxes by the lower, middle, and upper classes, and then compares the rates.

    Read on to learn about the progressiveness or regressiveness of your state’s taxes.

    ALSO: States benefitting the most from the new tax code

  • IIP Photo Archive // Flickr
    2/ IIP Photo Archive // Flickr

    #51. Delaware

    Index: –0.5%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 5.5%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 5.3%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 4.8%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 113%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 110%

  • Good Free Photos
    3/ Good Free Photos

    #50. Washington, D.C.

    Index: –0.9%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 5.6%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.3%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 6.4%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 87%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 146%

  • Rafał Konieczny // Wikicommons
    4/ Rafał Konieczny // Wikicommons

    #49. California

    Index: –1.0%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10.5%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 8.3%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 8.7%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 121%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 96%

  • M.O. Stevens // Wikicommons
    5/ M.O. Stevens // Wikicommons

    #48. Oregon

    Index: –1.3%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 8.1%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 7.6%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 6.5%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 125%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 117%

  • Martin Kraft // Wikicommons
    6/ Martin Kraft // Wikicommons

    #47. Montana

    Index: –1.4%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 6.1%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 6.2%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 4.7%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 129%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 131%

  • Jonathanking // Wikicommons
    7/ Jonathanking // Wikicommons

    #46. Vermont

    Index: –1.7%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 8.9%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.8%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 7.7%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 115%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 127%

  • Thomas Bohn // Wikicommons
    8/ Thomas Bohn // Wikicommons

    #45. Minnesota

    Index: –1.7%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 8.8%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.7%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 7.5%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 117%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 128%

  • Albany NY // Wikicommons
    9/ Albany NY // Wikicommons

    #44. Maine

    Index: –1.9%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 9.4%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.2%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 7.5%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 125%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 123%

  • Daniel X. O'Neil // Flickr
    10/ Daniel X. O'Neil // Flickr

    #43. Idaho

    Index: –2.0%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 8.5%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 8.1%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 6.4%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 133%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 126%

  • O Palsson // Flickr
    11/ O Palsson // Flickr

    #42. West Virginia

    Index: –2.3%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 8.7%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 8.7%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 6.5%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 134%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 135%

  • Matt H. Wade // Wikicommons
    12/ Matt H. Wade // Wikicommons

    #41. New York

    Index: –2.7%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10.4%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 11.4%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 8.1%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 128%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 141%

  • Public Domain
    13/ Public Domain

    #40. South Carolina

    Index: –2.8%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 7.5%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 7.4%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 4.5%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 165%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 164%

  • Public Domain
    14/ Public Domain

    #39. New Jersey

    Index: –2.9%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10.7%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.1%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 7.1%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 150%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 128%

  • Public Domain
    15/ Public Domain

    #38. Maryland

    Index: –3.1%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 9.7%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.8%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 6.7%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 145%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 147%

  • Vijay Kumar Koulampet // Wikicommons
    16/ Vijay Kumar Koulampet // Wikicommons

    #37. Wisconsin

    Index: –3.3%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 8.9%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 10.1%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 6.2%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 143%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 163%

  • Matt Howry // Wikicommons
    17/ Matt Howry // Wikicommons

    #36. Alaska

    Index: –3.4%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 7%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 4.3%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 2.5%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 281%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 173%

  • Doug Kerr // Wikicommons
    18/ Doug Kerr // Wikicommons

    #35. Virginia

    Index: –3.6%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 8.9%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 8.3%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 5.1%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 174%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 163%

  • Andrew Smith // Flickr
    19/ Andrew Smith // Flickr

    #34. Utah

    Index: –3.8%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 8.6%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 8.4%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 4.8%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 180%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 174%

  • Daderot // Wikicommons
    20/ Daderot // Wikicommons

    #33. Kentucky

    Index: –3.8%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 9%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 10.4%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 6%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 149%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 174%

  • yosoynuts // Flickr
    21/ yosoynuts // Flickr

    #32. Colorado

    Index: –3.9%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 8.4%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 8.1%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 4.6%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 184%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 178%

  • Chanilim714 // Wikicommons
    22/ Chanilim714 // Wikicommons

    #31. North Carolina

    Index: –3.9%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 9.2%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.1%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 5.3%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 173%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 170%

  • Visitjeffersoncity // Wikicommons
    23/ Visitjeffersoncity // Wikicommons

    #30. Missouri

    Index: –3.9%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 9.5%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 5.5%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 173%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 164%

  • Phillip Hofmeister // Wikicommons
    24/ Phillip Hofmeister // Wikicommons

    #29. Michigan

    Index: –4.3%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 9.2%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.2%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 5.1%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 182%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 182%

  • Ammodramus // Wikicommons
    25/ Ammodramus // Wikicommons

    #28. Nebraska

    Index: –4.3%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10.9%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.9%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 6.3%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 172%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 156%

  • Cburnett // Wikicommons
    26/ Cburnett // Wikicommons

    #27. Iowa

    Index: –4.4%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10.4%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.8%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 6%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 174%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 163%

  • IIP Photo Archive // Flickr
    27/ IIP Photo Archive // Flickr

    #26. Connecticut

    Index: –5%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10.5%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 10%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 5.3%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 199%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 189%

  • Billy Hathorn // Wikicommons
    28/ Billy Hathorn // Wikicommons

    #25. New Hampshire

    Index: –5.2%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 8.3%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 6.7%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 2.6%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 324%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 263%

  • Fcb981 // Wikicommons
    29/ Fcb981 // Wikicommons

    #24. Massachusetts

    Index: –5.2%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10.4%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.2%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 4.9%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 213%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 190%

  • Bestbudbrian // Wikicommons
    30/ Bestbudbrian // Wikicommons

    #23. Rhode Island

    Index: –5.2%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 12.5%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.9%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 6.3%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 200%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 158%

  • Ken Lund // Flickr
    31/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #22. Georgia

    Index: –5.3%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10.4%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.6%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 5%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 207%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 191%

  • Pixabay
    32/ Pixabay

    #21. Mississippi

    Index: –5.5%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10.4%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 10.2%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 5.3%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 198%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 193%

  • Bobak Ha'Eri
    33/ Bobak Ha'Eri

    #20. North Dakota

    Index: –5.7%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 9.3%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 7.4%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 3%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 309%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 245%

  • Antrell Williams // Flickr
    34/ Antrell Williams // Flickr

    #19. Louisiana

    Index: –5.8%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.4%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 4.2%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 235%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 221%

  • Alexander Smith // Wikicommons
    35/ Alexander Smith // Wikicommons

    #18. Ohio

    Index: –5.8%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 11.7%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 10.2%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 5.5%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 213%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 185%

  • Nikopoley // Wikicommons
    36/ Nikopoley // Wikicommons

    #17. New Mexico

    Index: –5.9%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10.9%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.9%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 4.8%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 225%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 204%

  • Caleb Long // Wikicommons
    37/ Caleb Long // Wikicommons

    #16. Oklahoma

    Index: –5.9%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10.5%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.3%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 4.3%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 244%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 217%

  • Daniel X. O'Neil // Flickr
    38/ Daniel X. O'Neil // Flickr

    #15. Hawaii

    Index: –6%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 13.4%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 11.2%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 7%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 191%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 160%

  • Cogdogblog // Wikicommons
    39/ Cogdogblog // Wikicommons

    #14. Wyoming

    Index: –6.1%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 8.2%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 5.8%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 1.2%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 697%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 494%

  • Amadscientist // Wikicommons
    40/ Amadscientist // Wikicommons

    #13. Nevada

    Index: –6.2%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 8.4%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 6.5%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 1.4%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 593%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 455%

  • Carol M. Highsmith // Wikicommons
    41/ Carol M. Highsmith // Wikicommons

    #12. Alabama

    Index: –6.3%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.3%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 3.8%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 263%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 244%

  • Daniel Schwen // Wikicommons
    42/ Daniel Schwen // Wikicommons

    #11. Arkansas

    Index: –6.4%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 11.9%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 11.1%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 5.6%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 212%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 197%

  • Massimo Catarinella // Wikicommons
    43/ Massimo Catarinella // Wikicommons

    #10. Indiana

    Index: –6.6%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 12%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 10.6%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 5.2%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 231%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 204%

  • Aviper2k7 // Wikicommons
    44/ Aviper2k7 // Wikicommons

    #9. Kansas

    Index: –6.9%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 11.1%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.2%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 3.6%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 310%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 258%

  • Gage Skidmore // Flickr
    45/ Gage Skidmore // Flickr

    #8. Arizona

    Index: –7.1%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 12.5%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 9.5%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 4.6%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 272%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 207%

  • Gstewart89 // Wikicommons
    46/ Gstewart89 // Wikicommons

    #7. Tennessee

    Index: –7.3%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 10.9%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 8.4%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 3%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 366%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 280%

  • Ron Harper Jr // Wikicommons
    47/ Ron Harper Jr // Wikicommons

    #6. Pennsylvania

    Index: –7.3%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 12%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 10.1%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 4.2%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 286%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 241%

  • Jim Bowen // Flickr
    48/ Jim Bowen // Flickr

    #5. Illinois

    Index: –8.1%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 13.2%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 10.9%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 4.6%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 289%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 238%

  • Dk4hb // Wikicommons
    49/ Dk4hb // Wikicommons

    #4. South Dakota

    Index: –8.4%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 11.3%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 7.9%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 1.8%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 619%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 431%

  • Larry D. Moore // Wikicommons
    50/ Larry D. Moore // Wikicommons

    #3. Texas

    Index: –8.5%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 12.5%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 8.8%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 2.9%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 433%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 307%

  • Michael Rivera // Wikicommons
    51/ Michael Rivera // Wikicommons

    #2. Florida

    Index: –9.5%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 12.9%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 8.3%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 1.9%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 664%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 429%

  • Cacophony // Wikicommons
    52/ Cacophony // Wikicommons

    #1. Washington

    Index: –12.6%

    Tax rate for the poorest 20%: 16.8%
    Tax rate for the middle 60%: 10.1%
    Tax rate for the top 1%: 2.4%

    Poorest 20% to top 1% ratio: 687%
    Middle 60% to top 1% ratio: 412%

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