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

It can cost you thousands of dollars each year if you fail to consider state and local taxes before moving your family from one state to another.

drawing of a map of the United States with a coin being dropped in a slot on the map
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If you pull up stakes and move from one state to another, 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 (opens in new tab), 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.

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

Rocky Mengle
Senior Tax Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rocky is a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, he 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 has a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.