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New Yorkers Pay Highest Tax Followed by New Jersey, Connecticut

New Yorkers Pay Highest Tax Followed by New Jersey, Connecticut
New Yorkers on Fifth Avenue in New York. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/ Bloomberg

New Yorkers can claim a title they’d rather not have: the most taxed in the nation.

Residents of the Empire State paid 12.8 percent of their income in state and local taxes in 2010, according to rankings released today by the Tax Foundation, a Washington-based research group that advocates a simpler tax code. New Jersey ranked second at 12.4 percent, followed by Connecticut, where the rate was 12.3 percent.

The three states have had the highest tax burden since 2005, according to the group. The results reflect higher earnings in the region and a large share of income produced by capital gains. The ranks also account for levies paid outside home states, including sales taxes and property taxes on second homes.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who took office in 2011 -- after the most-recent ranking was compiled -- limited property-tax increases to no more than 2 percent a year and cut taxes for millions of residents earning less than $300,000 a year. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, signed a similar curb in real estate taxes in July 2010, after the period covered by the study.

Not every state is moving to lower taxes. Cash-strapped California, whose residents pay the fourth-highest share of state and local taxes in the U.S., will vote next month on whether to raise taxes on retail sales and the incomes of top earners, a plan sought by Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat.

Residents of oil-rich Alaska had the lowest tax burden in the nation at 7 percent, followed by South Dakota, Tennessee, Louisiana and Wyoming. The sixth lowest was Texas, where the rate was 7.9 percent.

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