10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Middle-Class Families

It can cost your family thousands of dollars each year if you end up in one of the worst states for taxes after a move.

U.S. map made of dollar bills
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you and your family pull up stakes and move from one state to another, make sure you don't end up in one of the least tax-friendly states for middle-class families. Your federal income tax bill won't change just because you crossed a state line, but the same can't be said about your overall state and local tax liability. Moving from a low-tax state to a high-tax state can literally cost you thousands of dollars each year. Your income, sales, property, and other state and local taxes can all be higher in your new location. That's why people who are contemplating a move to a different state need to do their homework before hiring the movers.

If you don't want to end up in a state with higher taxes than the one you're in right now, one of the first things you need to know is which states to avoid. And we can help with that. When creating our State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Middle-Class Families, we estimated the overall income, sales, and property tax burden in each state and the District of Columbia for a hypothetical married couple with two children, combined wages of $77,000, $3,000 of other income, and a $300,000 home.

That information also allowed us to cobble together the following list of the 10 least tax-friendly states for middle-class families (the least-friendly state is listed last). So, if you and your family are considering packing your bags and moving to another state, make sure you check out the list before finalizing your decision. It might make you think twice before relocating. (A complete description of our ranking methodology and sources of information is at the end of this article.)

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David Muhlbaum
Former Senior Online Editor

In his former role as Senior Online Editor, David edited and wrote a wide range of content for Kiplinger.com. With more than 20 years of experience with Kiplinger, David worked on numerous Kiplinger publications, including The Kiplinger Letter and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. He co-hosted  Your Money's Worth, Kiplinger's podcast and helped develop the Economic Forecasts feature.