Kentucky avoids worst tax rankings

Zillow Published:

By Christina Sturgis

The Bluegrass State did not appear in the Fiscal Times' list of the top 10 states with the worst taxes, an analysis of individual income tax, corporate income tax, sales tax and property tax.

With individual income taxes for top-earners at 6 percent, a 6 percent sales tax and 6 percent corporate income tax and per capita property tax collections at $684, Kentucky is hardly in the same league as New York State, ranked No. 1 for a burdensome tax structure.

The Empire State collects $2,280 per capita in property taxes, but not as much as New Jersey, which has the highest collection in the nation, $2,819 per capita. The lowest property taxes are in Alabama, $539 per capita. Kentucky ranks No. 46 on property taxes, according to the non-profit, non-partisan Tax Foundation.

But Kentucky is not on the Fiscal Times’ list of 10 best tax states, either. That list – Wyoming, South Dakota, Nevada, Alaska, Florida, Washington, Montana, New Hampshire, Utah and Indiana – praises states that do not have at least one type of taxes.

For example, there is no state income tax in top-ranked Wyoming, as well as South Dakota, Nevada, Alaska, Florida and Washington. Montana and New Hampshire have no sales tax.

Gov. Steve Beshear called for tax in the Jan. 7 State of the Commonwealth address, but writer Lyman Stone of the Tax Foundation said Beshear’s plan was flawed.

“Kentucky already has relatively high tax rates, and, according to Governor Beshear’s speech and numerous commission reports, actually needs reforms to lower rates and make the tax base broader,” Stone wrote.

Beshear also said expanded gaming could provide additional revenue, a road already taken by Philadelphia.

“Allowing gaming is a way to keep Kentucky tax revenue at home – instead of letting Kentuckians' entertainment dollars fund roads and schools in Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and other states,” he said.

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