Americans have looked at taxes with especially high scrutiny during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 74% think the government hasn’t handled their tax dollars wisely during this crisis, according to WalletHub’s Taxpayer Survey. We do know, however, that taxpayer return on investment, or ROI, varies based where one lives. Federal income-tax rates are uniform across the nation, yet some states receive far more federal funding than others. Different states have also received vastly different amounts of COVID-19 aid.
Federal taxes and support are only part of the story, though. Different states have dramatically different tax burdens. This begs the question of whether people in high-tax states receive superior government services. Likewise, are low-tax states more efficient or do they receive low-quality services? In short, where do taxpayers get the most and least bang for their buck?
WalletHub aimed to answer that question by contrasting state and local tax collections with the quality of the services residents receive in each of the 50 states within five categories: Education, Health, Safety, Economy, and Infrastructure & Pollution. Our data set includes a total of 30 key metrics. Read on for our findings, methodology and commentary from a panel of experts.
Taxpayer ROI in California (1=Best, 25=Avg.):
- 49th – Overall ROI
- 45th – Total Taxes per Capita (Population Aged 18+)
- 16th – Education
- 27th – Health
- 36th – Safety
- 45th – Economy
- 47th – Infrastructure & Pollution
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