Released in 2005, here is a list of the estimated tax burdens for each of the 50 states’ largest cities, for a family of three. (The size of the family is somewhat irrelevant, since the property tax and auto tax have nothing to do with family size, and the income tax will actually be less for a larger family, seeing as there will be more deductions.)

Estimated burden of major taxes for a hypothetical family of three, 2005

Rank – City – State – Income Tax – Property Tax – Sales Tax – Auto Tax – Total – Percent of Income

1 Philadelphia PA 1,833 1,577 535 186 4,130 16.5%
2 Detroit MI 1,157 1,562 554 172 3,445 13.8%
3 Chicago IL 506 1,666 826 273 3,271 13.1%
4 Birmingham AL 907 1,426 724 196 3,253 13.0%
5 Louisville KY 1,207 1,303 560 183 3,253 13.0%
6 Atlanta GA 559 1,783 711 184 3,238 13.0%
7 Bridgeport CT 0 2,227 588 362 3,178 12.7%
8 WASHINGTON DC 569 1,805 563 215 3,152 12.6%
9 Columbus OH 818 1,512 619 185 3,133 12.5%

10 – Boston – MA – $241.00 – $2,424.00 – $298.00 – $168.00 – $3,131.00 – 12.5%

11 Little Rock AR 381 1,478 1,016 228 3,104 12.4%
12 Kansas City MO 501 1,555 729 314 3,099 12.4%
13 Indianapolis IN 825 1,536 624 102 3,087 12.3%
14 Honolulu HI 557 1,829 470 214 3,069 12.3%
15 Minneapolis MN 308 1,970 568 216 3,062 12.2%
16 Portland OR 1,239 1,656 0 162 3,057 12.2%
17 Salt Lake City UT 313 1,706 762 257 3,038 12.2%
18 Charlotte NC 460 1,670 691 214 3,035 12.1%
19 Oklahoma City OK 513 1,464 878 178 3,033 12.1%
20 Virginia Beach VA 555 1,663 559 227 3,005 12.0%
21 Charleston WV 662 1,370 673 294 2,999 12.0%
22 New York City NY 78 1,975 731 133 2,917 11.7%
23 Phoenix AZ 160 1,642 923 163 2,887 11.5%
24 Denver CO 218 1,783 659 225 2,885 11.5%
25 Seattle WA 0 1,793 726 315 2,834 11.3%
26 Memphis TN 0 1,574 1,031 183 2,788 11.2%
27 New Orleans LA 305 1,466 875 131 2,778 11.1%
28 Providence RI 0 1,726 627 408 2,760 11.0%
29 Jackson MS 142 1,361 859 383 2,744 11.0%
30 Columbia SC 102 1,625 689 328 2,744 11.0%
31 Los Angeles CA 0 1,843 604 268 2,715 10.9%
32 Newark NJ 191 1,769 557 146 2,663 10.7%
33 Omaha NE 246 1,510 673 211 2,639 10.6%
34 Des Moines IA 349 1,332 631 280 2,592 10.4%
35 Wilmington DE 559 1,894 0 135 2,588 10.4%
36 Las Vegas NV 0 1,687 498 292 2,478 9.9%
37 Houston TX 0 1,555 755 160 2,470 9.9%
38 Albuquerque NM 0 1,373 970 124 2,466 9.9%
39 Jacksonville FL 0 1,709 562 174 2,444 9.8%
40 Portland ME 100 1,711 419 214 2,443 9.8%
41 Wichita KS 130 1,356 714 228 2,428 9.7%
42 Boise ID 103 1,459 568 217 2,347 9.4%
43 Milwaukee WI 5 1,512 625 201 2,343 9.4%
44 Cheyenne WY 0 1,378 792 167 2,337 9.3%
45 Manchester NH 0 1,968 226 139 2,333 9.3%
46 Sioux Falls SD 0 1,344 814 168 2,326 9.3%
47 Burlington VT 0 1,639 521 150 2,310 9.2%
48 Anchorage AK 0 2,136 0 90 2,226 8.9%
49 Baltimore MD 7 1,464 574 182 2,226 8.9%
50 Fargo ND 114 1,176 597 184 2,071 8.3%
51 Billings MT 238 1,351 0 245 1,834 7.3%

So, based on this, Boston has the 10th highest tax burden out of the 50 cities (and District of Columbia) analyzed.

As you can see, property taxes are what hurt Boston the most.

This fits in nicely with Mayor Menino’s recent complaints that residents of the city are paying an unfair share of the city’s budget, through property taxes.

The Mayor has been soliciting the support of the state legislature to find alternate methods of taxation, including an increase in the meals tax, a sporting and entertainment tax, and other taxes.

Of course, that means the tax burden is just spread amongst others, it’s not like the tax is going to go away, right?

Source: Tax Rates and Tax Burdens, study by the Government of the District Columbia

More: Taxes by state, 2005 – CNN/Money (Massachusetts ranks an encouraging 32nd out of the 50 states when it comes to tax burden.)

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Updated:  1st Q 2018

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