Tax facts

Taxes are always a subject for lively discussion. Do we have new data that show how North Carolina stacks up compared to other states? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden responds.

“Well, we do  … although it’s a couple of years old. The non-partisan think tank called the Tax Foundation each year puts out a publication where they rank all states in terms of taxes.

“And how do they come up with these rankings? Well, they look at total state and local taxes paid. And you need to do both together, because in some states they don’t allocate the function the same between the state and local level. So, they look at total state and local taxes paid as a percent of income, personal income in that state. And so they’ve done that.

“The latest year they have data for is 2009; (it) shows first of all that North Carolina’s percentage is 9.8 percent. That is, 9.8 percent of personal income in North Carolina goes for state and local taxes. And if you look at where we rank in 2009, the Tax Foundation shows that at 9.8 percent (we rank) 16th highest.

“In 2008, interestingly, we were also showing a 9.8 percent rate of taxation compared to income, but we ranked only 20th. So, we did move up four places in terms of size of our taxes paid in the state compared to other states. But the percentage between ’08 and ’09 remain the same at 9.8 percent.”

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