Burlington, Vermont — March 31, 2006
A new report says Vermonters pay more state taxes than people from any other state.
According to the federal report released Friday, overall state taxation rose from $1.8 billion to $2.4 billion in one year. That’s an increase of 33%.
That pushes the per capita tax burden to $3,600, the highest state tax burden in the country, but the numbers do not paint an entirely accurate picture.
The new federal report is misleading. It turns out that Vermonters state tax burden is not as bad as reported, but then again, as one expert made very clear, Vermonters are still among the highest taxed in the country.
“One of the things that the Census Bureau did was this year was changed its methodology,” said Art Woolf, University of Vermont Professor of Economics.
Woolf says it is the Census Bureau decision to include Vermont property tax payments that accounts for the misleading impression that Vermonters are paying the highest state taxes per person.
“So Vermont’s zoomed up in the rankings because it used to be that a lot of property taxes were seen as a local tax, part of it was a state tax and now they’ve just taken the entire property tax and put it in the state tax which is why we’re number one in the nation in total state taxes per capita,” explained Woolf.
Woolf points out that while state taxes may not be as burdensome as indicated in the new report, Vermonters nevertheless remain among the highest taxed citizens in the nation, especially individuals and families that make income over 60-thousand dollars.
“Well we are highly taxed. We’re one of the top ten states in the country in terms of our total taxes as a percent of the income we earn,” said Woolf.
Maine residents pay the highest overall taxes in the nation, while New Hampshire residents, by far, according to Art Woolf, have the lightest overall tax burden per person.
Brian Joyce – Channel 3 News