How Much Your Location Can Affect Those Dreaded Taxes

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The Balance

That's how much more you could pay in taxes over your lifetime, depending on where you live, according to a recent analysis.

A state-by-state analysis of taxes on income, spending, property and cars estimates New Jersey residents pay an average of $931,698 in taxes throughout their lives—the most in the nation—while West Virginians pay an average of $321,023, the least. Self Financial, a fintech provider of loans and credit cards, conducted the study using 2019 spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and a variety of state-specific tax rates from sources including the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit researcher.

New Jersey’s average tax payment is also the biggest as a share of estimated lifetime earnings: roughly 50%, Self found when using average salaries for each state. The best state, by that measure, is Alabama, where you'll pay just under 25% of your earnings in taxes. (The calculations include both federal and state income taxes paid, though states like Florida do not collect income taxes.)

Thinking of moving? Here’s where you’ll pay the most in state and local taxes, according to the Tax Foundation.