State Tax Series Begins!

Today, I kick off my series on state taxes! The plan is to make it from A to, er, W (Alabama to Wyoming).

It’s worth noting that the series is meant to be a primer, not an exhaustive list of all taxes and rates applicable to any given states. I practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, so I am not familiar with the nuances in other states. So, while I’m making every effort to do my homework, I’m relying on resources from those individual states and of course, my fellow tax professionals.

I also want to note that I’m focusing on the major taxes that affect individuals, largely income taxes, gas taxes and sales taxes. Since real estate taxes vary wildly even within individual states, I likely won’t mention those unless there’s a tax of significant interest. I won’t be covering business taxes or excise taxes unless I find them particularly curious. Why? Because it’s my blog and I’ll post what I want to (do I have to have a reason?).

I may ruminate a bit about local taxes – especially Philly (Mayor Nutter, are you reading?) and New York. But don’t count on much in the way of local taxes otherwise. The exception will be those local townships and cities where, you, the reader, offer me some insight.

I really do welcome personal anecdotes about your experiences in various states. I’m especially interested in folks who have moved for tax reasons (be sure and vote in the poll) as well as quirky tax rules. You can send your thoughts via email or leave as a comment.

And finally, I’m going to refer to each state’s overall tax burden as determined by the Tax Policy Center – and then talk a little bit about how I feel about the tax structure in each state. Tax system too complicated? Taxes too high? You know, the good stuff. But that only works as a conversation if you chime in, too. So let me know what you think as we go along – but play nice! I don’t want folks beating other states up “just because” – like “just because” the Phils kicked the Rays’ butts in Game One of the World Series (and Mom, I apologize in advance for using the word “butt” – I know how you feel about such strong language).

So, what are you waiting for? Play ball! Let’s get started!

And once more with feeling: Unfortunately, it is impossible to give comprehensive tax advice over the internet, no matter how well researched or written. Before relying on any information given on this site, contact a tax professional to discuss your particular situation.