Which state sends most taxes to DC?


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

As Tax Day approaches, show some love for the good people who live in the nation’s capital.

Washington, that swampy den of iniquity that politicians love to scorn, sends the most tax dollars per person to the U.S. government.

By a lot.

Last year, the District of Columbia paid Uncle Sam $37,000 per person in federal income, payroll and estate taxes. The next closest was Delaware, at $16,000 per person.

“It’s where the money is,” said Roberton Williams, a fellow at the Tax Policy Center. “The reason the District pays so much in taxes is that there are a lot of high-income people there.”

Washington is an outlier because, despite years of lobbying, it is not a state. It doesn’t even have a vote in Congress. It is, however, a city with a relatively high cost of living.

West Virginia, Mississippi and New Mexico have low median household incomes, which helps explain why they their residents pay far less in federal taxes. West Virginia paid $3,600 per person last year, while Mississippi paid $3,900 per person and New Mexico residents paid a little more than $4,000.

The Associated Press calculated each state’s per-capita tax bill using data from the IRS and population estimates from the Census Bureau.

The deadline to file federal tax returns is Tuesday. It was pushed back because the usual April 15 deadline was Saturday, and because today is a holiday in the District of Columbia.

The IRS says millions of taxpayers have yet to file their returns. As they do, they shouldn’t feel too bad for D.C. residents.

The nation’s capital gets a good return on its tax investment. For every dollar the District sends to the federal government, it gets back almost $4, according to a 2015 study by the New York state comptroller.

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