States With The Lowest Overall Tax Burden (Income, Property & Sales)

Tax laws and regulations vary widely from state to state, making it important for individuals, businesses and investors alike to be aware of the overall tax burden in different states. This article will explore which U.S. states have the lowest individual income, property and sales taxes as well as provide a comparative analysis of how these three categories affect one another. Additionally, the benefits and drawbacks associated with certain low-tax states are discussed.

The taxation system within each state is complex; therefore, this article aims to make sense of these complexities by offering an overview of the current landscape on a national level. By exploring which states have lower than average taxes in each category—as compared to other states across the nation—this article provides readers with knowledge needed to make informed decisions when considering relocating or investing in different parts of the country.

Finally, even though many factors come into play when selecting where to live or invest money, understanding differences between states’ tax systems can be instrumental in helping people decide if they want to move their residence or business operations out of their home state or consider investing elsewhere. Therefore, this article serves as a guide that outlines key considerations when weighing tax burden against potential returns on investment.


Definition Of Tax Burden

Tax burden is an economic measure that assesses the total amount of taxes paid by individuals and businesses to a government. The tax burden can be divided into three categories: income, property, and sales. Income tax refers to payments made on wages earned from employment or investment activities; property taxes are levied on real estate holdings; and sales tax applies to purchases of tangible goods such as consumer items. The rate at which these taxes are applied varies depending on state laws and regulations. Additionally, some states offer special exemptions based on age, disability status, or other factors. Understanding the various components of the overall tax burden can help taxpayers make informed decisions when considering their own financial situation.


Comparison Of Tax Rates By State

The states with the lowest overall tax burden, including income, property, and sales taxes, are Alaska, Wyoming, South Dakota, New Hampshire, and Tennessee. In order to understand why these states have the lowest overall tax burden it is important to examine their respective rates for each of these categories:

Income Tax Rates:

  • Alaska: 0%
  • Wyoming: 0-5%
  • South Dakota: 0-4.90%
  • New Hampshire: 5%-8.95%
  • Tennessee: No state income tax

Property Tax Rates:

  • Alaska: 1.06%-2.86%, depending on location & value of property
  • Wyoming: .33%-1.45%, depending on location & value of property
  • South Dakota: 9.20 mills/$1000 assessed valuation (varies by county)
  • New Hampshire: 2.19%-3.44%, depending on location & value of property
  • Tennessee: 25-$27 per $100 in assessed valuation (varies by county)

Sales Tax Rates:

  • Alaska: None statewide; local governments may charge up to 7%                                                                                 ­­­­­                      ­
  • Wyoming: 4-6%; varies by city/county‎\r \rSales tax in Wyoming ranges from 4-6%, depending on the city or county.


Property Taxes

Property taxes vary from state to state and consist of local, county, and sometimes school district taxes. The amount of property tax paid is based on the assessed value of a person’s home or other real estate holdings. Property taxes are typically lower in states with relatively low cost-of-living expenses such as Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. In these five states, property tax rates range from 0.18% to 0.73%.

The highest taxable values occur in Hawaii (1.41%), New Jersey (2.35%), Connecticut (2.19%), Illinois (2.30%), Wisconsin (2.27%), Vermont (2.20%) and Massachusetts (1.91%). On the other hand, Wyoming has the lowest effective rate of just .34%, followed by Alaska (.45 %), Nevada (.64 %) and Colorado (.70%). Generally speaking, states situated in the Midwest have some of the lowest effective property tax rates compared to those located in the Northeast region of the U.S., which tend to have higher rates overall due to higher housing costs associated with living there.


Income Taxes

Income taxes are a major factor in determining the overall tax burden of a state. In terms of income taxation, Alaska is one of the most desirable states to live in for those seeking lower taxes. Alaskans do not pay any individual or corporate income tax at all. Other states that have relatively low income taxes include Wyoming, South Dakota, and Florida.

Wyoming has no individual or corporate income tax nor does it levy an inheritance or estate tax. South Dakota also lacks an individual or corporate income tax as well as gift and estate taxes. Further, they lack both alternative minimum (AMT) and franchise taxes on businesses. Finally, Florida has no personal or corporate income tax along with no AMT or franchise taxes on businesses either.


Sales Taxes

Transitioning from the previous section, sales taxes are another factor to consider in determining a state’s overall tax burden. In general, states with lower population densities tend to have relatively low sales taxes as compared to those more heavily populated. For example, Alaska has no statewide sales tax and several other states have rates below 5%.

These states include Delaware (0%), Montana (0%), New Hampshire (0%), Oregon (0%) and Hawaii (4.35%). On the other end of the spectrum, some of the highest rate states for sales taxes include Washington (6.5%), California (7.25%), Tennessee (7% up to 9.75% depending on city), Arkansas (6.5%) and Louisiana(9%).

When considering an individual or business’ overall tax burden, it is important to look at all three components: income taxes, property taxes and sales taxes. Depending on one’s income level or geographic location, certain factors may be weighted more heavily than others when assessing a state’s total tax burden. To that extent, individuals should research each component separately before making any decisions about where they live or conduct business operations based solely on perceived taxation levels in different jurisdictions.


Impact On Residents

The impact of states with the lowest overall tax burden on residents varies from state to state. Residents of these states may benefit from reduced income, property and sales taxes when compared with other regions that have higher rates. For example, Wyoming has no personal or corporate income taxes along with lower than average property taxes. This could result in more disposable income for individuals as well as businesses and potential investment opportunities due to increased capital reserves. Other benefits include a reduction in the cost of goods since sales taxes are generally much lower than those imposed by other parts of the country.

States with low overall tax burdens offer advantages beyond reducing expenses; they can also create an environment which encourages business growth through economic incentives and access to resources such as skilled labor pools and infrastructure. Additionally, many states with low-tax profiles provide additional quality of life amenities such as parks, recreation areas, cultural institutions and educational facilities. All these factors contribute to making communities attractive places to live, work and invest in real estate.



Tax burden is an important factor for individuals and businesses when considering a location to live or operate. It can have a profound impact on residents’ finances, as well as the overall economic climate of the region. As one considers states with the lowest overall tax burden in terms of income, property, and sales taxes, it is useful to understand how each type of taxation differs from state to state.

Property taxes are typically assessed locally at the county level and vary greatly among jurisdictions within each state. Income taxes also differ significantly between states, ranging from no personal income tax collected in some states to relatively high rates in other areas of the country. Sales taxes likewise range widely throughout the United States, with several “sales-tax free” states having no general levy on purchases made by consumers.

When all three types of taxation are taken into consideration together, certain states stand out as offering lower overall tax burdens than others. By researching local laws regarding taxation and calculating projected costs based on expected levels of income and spending, potential residents can make informed decisions about where they wish to reside or conduct business activities. Thus, understanding which states offer the most favorable taxation situation is beneficial both personally and economically.

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