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Nebraska near top in paying state, federal, local taxes
Are conservative politicians ogres who don’t care about children and the needy?
Is Nebraska living beyond its means when it comes to taxpayer-supported services?
That’s the debate that goes on every time the state budget is set, and especially this year when revenues aren’t keeping up with expenditures.
There are no doubt politicians at all levels can be guilty of catering to special interests at the expense of the average voter.
There’s ammunition today, however, for those who say Nebraskans are paying too much in taxes.
WalletHub released its yearly Tax Rates by State report confirming what the conservatives are saying. Nebraskans pay a lot when state, federal and local taxes are combined.
We’re ranked 49th overall in effective state and local tax rates, meaning we pay more in taxes than everyone except those in Illinois and Connecticut.
That’s $7,712 in total taxes per year on the median U.S. household.
Alaskans, by contrast, pay $3,164, Delaware residents $3,407 and Montanans $4,066 — we suspect energy contributes a lot to the state coffers in Alaska and Montana. The same can probably be said for Wyoming, which is the fifth lowest-tax state in the union.
But don’t Nebraskans have a lower cost of living that makes up the difference?
Not really, according to the folks at WalletHub.
Even with that factored in, we’re still the 39th worst state when it comes to taxes.
We’re in the middle when it comes to income taxes at 24, but 45th in real-estate taxes, 36th in vehicle property tax and 32 in sales and excise taxes.
While the State of Nebraska traditionally operates on a tight budget, there’s no doubt it could benefit from some of the same streamlining that private businesses have undertaken over the last few decades.
The state also benefits from the development of high-tech industries, especially in the east and along the I-80 corridor.
We need economic development to bring more quality jobs and taxpayers to our state, but therein lies the dilemma: how do we recruit companies when they know their workers will pay higher taxes once they get here?
That’s the daunting task facing state leadership: creating an attractive environment for both businesses and the employees they depend upon.
Now more than ever, efficient, intelligent use of every taxpayer dollar is key to our state’s success.
Check out the WalletHub taxpayer survey.