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Study: NJ's State-Local Tax Burden Is 3rd-Highest In U.S.

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Garden Statement Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT

Finishing in third place in the entire country is a dubious distinction for New Jersey when it comes to income taxes.

In New Jersey, 12.2% of all income went toward state and local taxes in Fiscal Year 2012, according to the annual State-Local Tax Burden Rankings released Wednesday morning by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

Overall, New Jersey residents pay an average $4,876 in state and local taxes, the study found.

The average per taxpayer for the remaining 49 states: $2,050.

The percentage of that from overall income puts New Jersey right behind only New York (12.7%) and Connecticut (12.6%), the Tax Foundation reported.

Then there's Alaska at 6.5% and South Dakota and Wyoming, at 7.1% each.

“There’s an ongoing debate over how much is enough when it comes to taxes, but it isn’t always informed by accurate data,” Tax Foundation economist Nicole Kaeding said. “Our study gives taxpayers a comprehensive look at where tax burdens are felt across the states, so that they can have an informed discussion on the size and reach of state and local taxes.”

During the 2012 fiscal year, state-local tax burdens as a share of state incomes decreased on average across the U.S., the study found.

Average income increased at a faster rate than tax collections, driving down state-local tax burdens on average.

On average, taxpayers pay the most taxes to their own state and local governments. In 2012, 78% of taxes collected were paid within the state of residence, up from 73% in 2011, the Tax Foundation found.

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