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Study: Pennsylvania residents pay third highest state, local taxes in U.S.

Pennsylvania has among the highest state and local tax rates in the U.S., according to a recently released independent analysis.

According to WalletHub’s study, Pennsylvania placed 49th out of 51 in a ranking of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., meaning its residents shoulder the third largest tax burden in the country.

The commonwealth’s effective state and local tax rates on median U.S. households was 13.78 percent, meaning on average workers pay nearly 14 percent of their salaries in state and local taxes.  That's similar to but higher than nearby states New York, 13.74 percent, and Ohio, 13.05 percent.

The median Pennsylvania household paid $8,004 in state and local taxes.

The median Ohio household paid $7,580 and the median New York household, $7,978.

The report also looked at how each state compared to others across the country. Pennsylvanians on average paid 28.12 percent more in state and local taxes than the national average. Ohio and New York residents paid, on average, 21.33 percent and 27.71 percent more, respectively.

The states with the lowest tax burdens in WalletHub’s analysis, in order, were Alaska, Delaware, Montana, Wyoming and Nevada.

States falling between No. 47 and 51 in the analysis, in order, were Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Illinois.

WalletHub’s analysis comes at a time when several Pennsylvania lawmakers have touted tax reform bills.

Sen. David Argall, R-Mahanoy City, for example, introduced Senate Bill 76, which calls for eliminating school property taxes and shifting the lost revenue to higher sales and personal income taxes.

“There just has to be another way to fund to fund our public schools,” Argall said in a statement. “The current system is unfair and very outdated – with its roots in the 1600s, and it hurts homeowners throughout the state.”

In its analysis, WalletHub asked several academics if tax rates play a role in determining where people choose to live.

Several of the interviewees teach in nearby states, including Michael Wasylenko, whose credits include a role as economics professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.

“Taxes play some role in people’s choices of where to live, but the role that taxes play varies by age group and education level,” Wasylenko said.

Wasylenko further stated, “Highly skilled, highly educated workers find the best job matches in east and west coast cities. Retirees pay closer attention to taxes and other lifestyle choices if they choose to relocate.”

[Original Article]

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