Taxing Our Patience


Between 1977 and 1988, reports Money magazine, state tax revenues grew 144 percent, outpacing both the 121-percent rise in federal tax revenue and the 88-percent rate of inflation. Granted, economic growth helped push revenues up, but state governments also enacted a host of new taxes and raised the rates of many existing ones. In 1989 alone, 30 states passed some type of tax hike.

Money estimated the total tax bill that its typical reader would pay in each state, including all state taxes—income, sales, capital gains, etc. (Local taxes, such as property taxes, weren't included.) The estimates assume a family of four with two incomes and a total household income of $61,372. Hawaii proved most expensive, with a whopping $4,500 tax bill, while tax-haven New Hampshire lived up to its reputation, with the lowest bill—a measly $132.