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U.S. States With No State Income Tax

Is it Really Cheaper to Live There?


Five straight pins on map
Walter B. McKenzie/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Updated May 16, 2014
While individuals and businesses in all 50 states pay federal income tax, residents in 41 states also pay state income tax. Nine states have no state income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. The states of New Hampshire and Tennessee tax their residents only on income earned through interest and dividends.

State income tax is typically based on the taxable income or adjusted gross income reported on the taxpayer's annual federal income tax return.

Not Always Cheaper to Live There
The fact that a state does not have an income tax does not necessarily mean that its residents pay less in taxes than residents of states with an income tax. All states must generate revenue and they do so through various taxes including income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, license taxes, fuel taxes, and estate and inheritance taxes, just to name a few. In states without state income tax, higher sales, property and other assorted taxes can exceed the annual cost of a state income tax.

For example, all states except Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon currently charge sales tax. Food, clothing and prescription drugs are exempt from sales tax in most states.

In addition to states; cities, counties, school districts and other jurisdictions impose real estate and sales taxes. For cities that do not sell their own utilities, like electricity and water, these taxes represent their main source of revenue.

Still, it is worth noting that during 2006 and 2007, the seven states with no income tax whatsoever, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming, led the nation in net population growth.

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