Data: Federalism Taxes


Not all states–or their citizens–are created equal when it comes to federal taxation. When you compare the per capita amount the federal government takes out of a state in taxes versus how much goes in via federal spending (federal payroll, direct payments to individuals, federal procurement, and grants to state and local governments, among other categories), some states win and others lose.

In fiscal 1995 (the nearest year for which complete data is available), Connecticut and New Jersey citizens were the biggest losers, each getting just 68 cents in federal money back for every dollar paid in taxes. The District of Columbia was the winner by a country mile-$5.26 in federal spending for every dollar of taxes paid. The nearest runner-up was New Mexico, way back at $1.86.

The table lists the five biggest losers and winners in the federal taxation/spending game.