Ask every honest taxpayer and they will say that they want reduced taxes. After all, the money paid for taxes to the government can be used for other purposes, perhaps a luxury vacation or a home improvement project.
Fortunately, there’s a way that you can reduce your tax burden without being hunted down by the tax man. You can, for starters, live in a state where there’s no income taxes! But don’t think that living in one of these income tax-free states is paradise because, as the adage says, there are only sure things in life: Death and taxes.
There may be no income taxes but the government will still collect other taxes so there’s that. The state will make up for its lost revenue in many ways, namely, higher taxes in other areas and/or reduced services. You must consider the other factors that contribute to quality of life, too, such as healthcare, job opportunities and cost of living.
If you’re looking for a state with the lowest total state and local tax burden, then Alaska is your best choice. The tax burden including property, income, excise and sales taxes is at an ultra-low 5.10% of personal income! (New York, by comparison, has a 12.97% tax burden)
Every citizen of Alaska also get a fairly handsome annual dividend payment from the Alaska Permanent Fund, too. For 2019, the projected divided payment for every citizen – and we mean every citizen – is $3,000 and it’s a handsome amount if you come from a large family.
But there’s also the matter of the high cost of living in Alaska, mainly because of its remote location. Most of us may see living in Alaska as romantic because of its stunning landscape and adventure-filled life but it can be a challenge living there, money-wise.
The state has no corporate income tax, which explains the number of high-profile employers and the hordes of young professional who flock to it for its job opportunities. Plus, it’s such a beautiful place to live in.
But here’s the deal in exchange for the no income tax proviso. If you reside here, you have to pay high excise and sales taxes. Your budget can really take a big hit from these taxes, not to mention that its overall tax burden is at 8.2%. There’s also the high gas prices and cost of living, especially in the cities.
But if you’re willing to accept the high cost of living, you will still want to live in Washington. It’s been ranked as the best state to live in by the U.S. News & World Report.
No income taxes is among the taglines used in attracting people to Nevada and we can certainly understand the attraction, especially with the Las Vegas appeal. But Nevada also heavily relies on its sales taxes on nearly everything, taxes on hotels and casinos, and sin taxes on gambling and alcohol. The result is an overall tax burden of 8.26% of personal income.
Nevada isn’t an affordable place to live in, too, especially in the metropolitan areas including Las Vegas. The high cost of living combined with the high cost of housing isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Texas and Florida are two states that also don’t impose personal income taxes but they rely heavily on sales and excise taxes, among others.