The 10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Middle-Class Families

If you're thinking about changing jobs and moving to a different state, you could save big bucks by relocating to one of these states where the tax bite is light for middle-class families.

drawing of mother, father and child cutouts on a map of the United States
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Workers are changing jobs more frequently these days. A lot of people are simply looking for better pay and benefits, but there are countless other reasons why workers move from one job to another. For instance, you might want to work from home or have a more flexible schedule, live in a warmer climate or closer to family, or just try something new and more meaningful.

But no matter why you decide to switch jobs, sometimes you also have to pack your bags and move across state lines when you accept a new position. If that's the case, make sure you check out the cost of living in your prospective employer's area before accepting the offer. Of course, you'll want to look at the cost of housing when doing your research, but make sure you consider the impact of state and local taxes in your potential new home as well. As our State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Middle-Class Families (opens in new tab) shows, state tax rates for the average American family are literally all over the map — 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 10 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 to take a new job or for other reasons, there's a good chance your overall state taxes will go down after the move.

See the final slide for a complete description of our ranking methodology and sources of information.

David Muhlbaum
Senior Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

In his current role as Senior Online Editor, David edits and writes a wide range of content for Kiplinger.com. With more than 20 years of experience with Kiplinger, he has worked on and written for a range of its publications, including The Kiplinger Letter and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. He is a co-host of Your Money's Worth, Kiplinger's podcast and has helped develop the Economic Forecasts feature.