9 Most Tax-Friendly States for Middle-Class Families

If a move from one state to another is in your future, you could save big bucks by relocating to one of these states where the tax bite is light for middle-class families.

cut-out family and house on a map of the United States
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're one of the millions of American families planning a move from one state to another, make sure you check the overall cost of living in your new state before packing your bags – including the impact of state and local taxes on middle-class families. Naturally, it would be nice to live in one of the lowest tax states (perhaps even a state with no income tax). But how can you tell the best states for taxes from the worst?

As our State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Middle-Class Families shows, the overall state tax burden for the average American family varies widely — and the difference between living in a high-tax state vs. a low-tax state can be thousands of dollars each year, depending on your family's tax situation. To help you compare the expected tax bite on ordinary Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, we estimated the overall income, sales, and property tax burden in each state for a hypothetical married couple with two children, combined wages of $77,000, and $3,000 of other income.

Based on our findings, we put together the following list of the 9 most tax-friendly states for middle-class families (the most-friendly state is listed at the end). If you're moving to one of these states, there's a good chance your overall state taxes will go down after the move.

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A complete description of our ranking methodology and sources of information is at the end of this article.

Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.