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Cities with the Highest Tax Burdens


Location can really matter when it comes to your taxes as some states have much higher tax burdens than others. These 10 cities have the highest overall tax burdens for high-income earners.

Location can really matter when it comes to your taxes as some states have much higher tax burdens than others. According to a report from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia, taxpayers may not fully realize the extent of the differences in state and local tax burdens across the country.

The Tax Rates and Tax Burdens 2011 Nationwide study compares individual income tax, real property tax on residential property, general sales and use tax and automobile taxes in the largest cities in each state (and Washington D.C.) for a family of three. The report calculated the tax burden for the family at five different income levels: $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000 and $150,000.

The majority of cities with the highest taxes are on the East Coast with only one city landing west of the Mississippi River. One U.S. city landed the top spot for highest taxes for all income levels except for $25,000—and it’s not New York City or Los Angeles. The city has less than 150,000 people.

Other assumptions: the wage and salary was all earned in the city and is split 70-30 between spouses and they own a home and reside within the confines of the city.

Here are the American cities with the highest taxes for a family earning $150,000.

10. Detroit, Mich.

Detroit as seen from Ontario. Copyright Shawn Wilson.

Burden percent: 10.3%

Burden amount: $15,522

The city’s income tax is fairly high — $9,721 for a family earning $150,000 — but the property tax is the lowest among the top 10.

9. Los Angeles, Calif.

Burden percent: 10.5%

Burden amount: $15,764

The income tax in Los Angeles was the second lowest among the top 10, but the sales and automobile taxes were the second highest.

8. Newark, N.J.

Rutgers University campus | Arthur Paxton.

Burden percent: 10.7%

Burden amount: $16,032

Despite the fact that the overall tax burden is high for the city of Newark, it has a low automobile tax burden.

7. Portland, Maine

Burden percent: 11%

Burden amount: $16,432

The automobile tax is among the highest in the top 10, although Portland had the lowest sales tax by far.

6. Baltimore, Md.

Burden percent: 11.4%

Burden amount: $17,134

With high taxes across the board compared to the top 10, The Baltimore Sun has reported that the mayor expressed interest in lowering the city’s property tax to make it more competive.

5. Louisville, Ky.

Burden percent: 12%

Burden amount: $18,008

At all income levels studies, Louisville had one of the highest income taxes. While the average tax burden for families making $150,000 was 12%, it was 14.4% for those earning $25,000 to $50,000.

4. Columbus, Ohio

Downtown Wilmington across the Christina River. Copyright Tim Kiser | Wikipedia.org.

Burden percent: 12.2%

Burden amount: $18,241

Lucky for Columbus residents, their state has a fairly low unemployment rate at 6.5% since they’re hit by high sales and property taxes.

3. New York City, N.Y.

Burden percent: 12.5%

Burden amount: $18,811

No other city has a city-level sales tax that compares to New York City’s 4.5%, plus the income tax of $12,464 a year was by the larges out of any in the top 10.

2. Philadelphia, Pa.

Burden percent: 13.3%

Burden amount: $19,951

The City of Brotherly Love doesn’t just stick it to high-income earners. Those making just $25,000 were stuck with an tax burden worth 18.1% of their income, tied for the highest of all cities at that income level.

1. Bridgeport, Conn.

Museum | Wikipedia.org

Burden percent: 15.7%

Burden amount: $23,501

For all but the $25,000 income, Bridgeport took the top spot. At $12,048 a year, its property taxes are sky high; plus it has the highest automobile tax compared to the rest of the cities in the top 10.

Read more:

American Cities with the Highest (and Lowest) Taxes — 24/7wallst.com

Most and Least Tax-Friendly States for Retirees

Tax Rates and Tax Burdens 2011 Nationwide — Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia

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