last updated August 13, 2003

How's my state stack up?
Do we pay more than other states?

In a sense, you cannot usefully compare the rate you pay in one state to the rate someone pays in another state, because taxable wage bases differ so widely. A lower rate in one state might be paid on a much higher taxable wage base, yielding a higher expense.

So what we do on this table is compare the average tax rates in the different states1 applied to a complete taxable wage base.

Note how the states with higher taxable wages cluster at the high end of this expense table. Raising the taxable wage base is a covert but very effective way to hike your taxes. Many states raise this wage base annually and automatically, so that they never have to take the blame of raising taxes, but taxes are nevertheless raised each year.

RankStateWage BaseRateExpense
1Utah$22,0000.1 %$22.00
2Georgia$8,5000.3 %$25.50
3Oklahoma$10,5000.4 %$42.00
4South Dakota$7,0000.6 %$42.00
5Arizona$7,0000.8 %$56.00
6New Hampshire$8,0000.8 %$64.00
7Florida$7,0001.0 %$70.00
8Colorado$10,0000.8 %$80.00
9Indiana$7,0001.2 %$84.00
10Mississippi$7,0001.3 %$91.00
11Missouri$7,0001.4 %$98.00
12Alabama$8,0001.3 %$104.00
13Louisiana$7,0001.5 %$105.00
14Nebraska$7,0001.5 %$105.00
15South Carolina$7,0001.5 %$105.00
16Tennessee$7,0001.5 %$105.00
17North Carolina$15,5000.7 %$108.50
18Texas$9,0001.3 %$117.00
19Wyoming$14,7000.9 %$132.30
20Ohio$9,0001.5 %$135.00
21Kentucky$8,0001.7 %$136.00
22Maryland$8,5001.6 %$136.00
23Virginia$8,0001.7 %$136.00
24Kansas$8,0001.8 %$144.00
25Delaware$8,5001.8 %$153.00
26Arkansas$9,0001.9 %$171.00
27Washington$28,5000.6 %$171.00
28New Mexico$15,9001.1 %$174.90
29California$7,0002.6 %$182.00
30Illinois$9,0002.1 %$189.00
31Minnesota$21,0000.9 %$189.00
32Montana$18,9001.1 %$207.90
33Connecticut$15,0001.4 %$210.00
34Michigan$9,5002.5 %$237.50
35Iowa$18,6001.3 %$241.80
36North Dakota$17,4001.4 %$243.60
37Massachusetts$10,8002.3 %$248.40
38New York$8,5003.0 %$255.00
39Nevada$20,9001.3 %$271.70
40Wisconsin$10,5002.6 %$273.00
41Pennsylvania$8,0003.6 %$288.00
42Idaho$27,6001.1 %$303.60
43Vermont$8,0003.8 %$304.00
44West Virginia$8,0003.8 %$304.00
45Maine$12,0002.8 %$336.00
46Rhode Island$12,0002.9 %$348.00
47Hawaii$29,3001.2 %$351.60
48New Jersey$23,5001.8 %$423.00
49Oregon$25,0001.8 %$450.00
  1. rates for District of Columbia and Alaska are not available