Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tax and Spin: Yesterday, Drudge linked to this chart of state taxes, showing that, per capita, Vermont taxed its citizens more than any other state. What I found interesting is that neighboring New Hampshire was third from last in taxes levied.

Although geographically the two New England states look damn near like twins, culturally they are very different. In simple political terms, New Hampshire is more Red and Vermont is more Blue.

I just wonder though, what do Vermonters get for their higher taxes? And are the folks in New Hampshire missing out on any valuable services? From what I can tell, there is no significant difference. Crime, education, and poverty are about the same.

In fact, tax rates don't seem to correlate to anything of any quality. I grew up in Texas, then I moved to Washington, DC -- which, although isn't on this list, probably would rival Vermont for top spot. I have since moved to neighboring Virginia, where I get fewer taxes and fewer problems. I also spend a lot of time in Maryland, which is higher on the tax list. Yet, there's no real difference between any of those places -- except for the District of Columbia's own unique problems, but that has nothing to do with its taxes.

On average, each person in Massachusetts pays nearly twice as much as someone in Texas. And for what? I don't think anyone has a really good answer.


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