Tax Time! Which States Complain the Most?
Through interviews with thousands of Americans, Gallup officials found that tax satisfaction varies widely by state.
Credit: Gallup

As tax day is fast approaching in the United States, Americans have widely varying views on whether they think they are giving too much money to their state.

Residents of the New York tri-state area are the most likely to complain about their tax burden, a new Gallup poll found. Around three-quarters of adults in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut say the amount they pay in state taxes is "too high."

But in 26 other states, fewer than half of the residents say their taxes are too high. In Wyoming, just 19 percent of people think they are paying too much in state taxes, according to the Gallup poll. [See List of U.S. States with the Most and Least Tax Dread]

On average, 50 percent of residents across the whole country say their taxes are too high. Gallup officials noted the states with the fewest tax gripes tend to be located in the Northern Plains, the Rockies and the South. These states also tend to be small in terms of population, except for Florida and Texas, which boast no state income tax. Meanwhile, residents of the Northeast (with the exception of New Hampshire) tend to be least satisfied with their state taxes, the Gallup poll found.

Gallup officials say tax complaints are often based in reality: A major predictor of dissatisfaction with the state tax burden seems to be the taxes themselves.

Residents of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California and Wisconsin pay 11 percent or more of their income in state and local taxes, on average, according to Tax Foundation estimates. Gallup pollsters found that an average of 69 percent of the residents in those states think their state taxes are too high.

In contrast, residents of Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee and Louisiana pay less than 8 percent in state and local taxes, on average. In those states, just a third (34 percent) of people think their tax burden is too high.

"While the saying goes that only death and taxes are certain, evidently complaining about taxes isn't," Gallup officials wrote.

The results of the poll are based on interviews conducted between June and December 2013 with a random sample of at least 600 residents ages 18 and older in all 50 states. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 5 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

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