With the tax filing deadline of April 15 approaching fast, you are probably keenly aware of how much you fork over in income taxes every year. But that’s far from your only tax bill. 

You’ll pay property taxes if you own a home, gas taxes when you fill up at the pump, sales taxes on much of the stuff you buy, and cigarette taxes if you can’t kick the habit. And all of those taxes vary widely based on where you live.

The website WalletHub calculated the total local tax burden in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, taking into account those levies, in addition to state and local income taxes—and found wide variations. “Taxpayers in the most tax-expensive states,” WalletHub notes, “pay three times more than those in the cheapest states.”

In Alaska, the state with the lowest tax burden, the total state and local tax rate is 5.7%, assuming an average U.S. household income of $58,082. In the highest-tax state, Illinois, it’s 14.9%.

The site also found that low taxes in one area don’t necessarily extend across the board. For example, in Washington, residents pay no income taxes, but spend more than 8% of their income on sales and excise taxes, the highest rate in the country.

To rank the 50 states and D.C. by total tax burden, WalletHub combined income, real estate, vehicle, gas, and sales and excise tax rates to come up with an effective state tax rate, then applied that to the average household income.

You can see how your state ranks in the map below:

Source: WalletHub

Where taxes are the lowest

With one tiny exception, the states with the lowest tax burdens in WalletHub’s ranking are out west. But they rose to the top of the list by different means.

Alaska, the state with the lowest taxes for locals, has no income tax and very low sales taxes (5th lowest on the list). Wyoming has low rest estate taxes and no income tax. Nevada also ranks low for real estate and income taxes. Montana has the second lowest sales tax rate in the country.

And the lone easterner? Delaware lands on this best list by virtue of very low real estate and sales taxes, although income taxes there are actually on the high side.

Overal rank
(1 = lowest)
StateEffective total state
and local tax rate
1Alaska5.70%
2Delaware6.14%
3Montana7.07%
4Wyoming8.05%
5Nevada8.20%

Note: Effective total state and local tax rate based on a U.S. household with an annual income of $58,082; a home worth $193,500 (median U.S. home value); a car valued at $24,350; and annual spending of a household earning the median U.S. income. 

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Where taxes hit the hardest

The highest-tax states made the list for steep taxes pretty much across the board. That’s especially true when it comes to real estate taxes.

Illinois, the state with the heftiest local tax burden in WalletHub’s ranking, has the second highest real estate taxes in the nation (trailing only New Jersey). Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, and Nebraska all rank in the top 12 based on their real estate taxes.

Pennsylvania also has the third highest income tax rate for locals; New York lands only four places back.

Overall rank
(1 = lowest)
StateEffective total state
and local tax rate
51Illinois14.90%
50Connecticut14.41%
49Pennsylvania13.78%
48New York13.74%
47Nebraska13.37%

Note: Effective total state and local tax rate based on a U.S. household with an annual income of $58,082; a home worth $193,500 (median U.S. home value); a car valued at $24,350; and annual spending of a household earning the median U.S. income. 

For details on all 50 states and D.C., check out WalletHub’s full ranking.

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