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Most progressive and regressive taxation states

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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

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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%

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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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