Worst Taxpayer ROI
With Tax Day approaching, WalletHub today released its latest analysis of the U.S. tax landscape, an in-depth look at the states with the Best & Worst Taxpayer Return on Investment in 2016. WalletHub used 20 metrics to compare the quality and efficiency of state-government services across five distinct categories — Education, Health, Safety, Economy, and Infrastructure & Pollution — taking into account the drastically different rates at which citizens are taxed in each state.
|States with the Best Taxpayer ROI||States with the Worst Taxpayer ROI|
|1||New Hampshire||41||New Mexico|
Worst Taxpayer ROI – Comparing the Best & Worst
- California has the highest proportion of major roads that are in poor condition, 51 percent, which is seven times higher than in Florida, the state with the lowest, 7 percent.
- Alabama has the highest infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births, 8.68, which is two times higher than in California, the state with the lowest, 4.30.
- Alaska has the highest violent-crime rate per 1,000 residents, 6.36, which is six times higher than in Vermont, the state with the lowest, 0.99.
- Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate per 100,000 residents age 18 or older, 1,072, which is six times higher than in Maine, the state with the lowest, 189.
- Wisconsin has the highest “public university system” score, which is three times higher than in Nevada and New Mexico, the states with the lowest.
- Red and Blue States nearly tie in terms of taxpayer return on investment, with Red States yielding slightly better ROIs.
Worst Taxpayer ROI – For the full report and to see where your state ranks, please visit:
There is an obvious disconnect in the minds of taxpayers between the amount of money we should fork over each April and what we ultimately deserve in return from our government. Tax Day can be a painful reminder of our investment in the operation of federal, state and local governments, but it’s difficult to discern their precise role in our day-to-day quality of life or overall pursuit of happiness.
Perhaps that’s why two out of five U.S. adults feel they pay too much in taxes, and why Americans estimate that slightly more than half of every tax dollar is wasted by the federal government — higher than the amounts they approximate state and local governments squander. One thing we do know is that taxpayer return on investment varies significantly based on simple geography. Federal income-tax rates are uniform across the nation, yet some states receive far more federal fundingthan others. But federal taxes and support are only part of the story.
Ideological differences regarding the role of local taxation have resulted in dramatically different tax burdens. This, of course, begs the question of whether people in high-tax states benefit from expectedly superior government services or if low-tax states are more efficient or receive correspondingly low-quality services. In short, where do taxpayers get the most and least bang for their buck?
WalletHub sought to answer that question by contrasting state and local tax rates with the quality of the services provided within the following five categories: Education, Health, Safety, Economy, and Infrastructure & Pollution. We used 20 total metrics to do so, and you can read our complete methodology as well as expert commentary below.