New Jersey Has Highest Combined U.S. Tax Burden, Study Says

New Jersey residents have the highest state and local tax burden in the nation, a Tax Foundation study said today.

They paid 12.2 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009. New York and Connecticut, the second- and third-highest-burdened states, gave up 12.1 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Alaskans paid the least, at 6.3 percent.

The top three were the only ones paying 12 percent or more in state and local levies. The next-ranked state, Wisconsin, paid 11 percent. New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have headed the list since 2005, with New Jersey at No. 1 for the last three years.

“High levels of spending that require high levels of taxation” made the states the leaders, the Washington-based Tax Foundation said.

The state and local burden for all U.S. taxpayers fell to 9.8 percent of incomes in 2009 from 9.9 percent the previous year as taxes shrank faster than earnings because of the recession, the report said. It’s the first time since 2000 that the overall burden fell, the foundation said. It was 9.4 percent in 2000.

The Tax Foundation is a privately funded research organization that advocates a market-based economy.

To contact the reporters on this story: Matt Robinson in New York at mrobinson55@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net

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