Which State Boasts Highest Taxpayer ROI?

When it comes to taxpayer ROI — how much an individual is positively impacted by their state’s use of tax dollars — this state came out on top for the second consecutive year.
Kerry Lengyel
Published: April 04, 2018
Ninety percent of U.S. adults don’t believe that the government uses tax revenue wisely, according to a recent survey, which makes taxpayer return on investment (ROI) a highly important statistic when it comes to choosing where to settle down. Taxpayer ROI is related to how your state spends the money you pay on taxes each year. If your state spends your hard-earned dollars on systems and infrastructure you benefit from, your state is perceived to have a high taxpayer ROI, but if it doesn’t, your state’s taxpayer ROI is low.

Since taxpayer ROI depends heavily on where you live, Wallethub analysts contrasted state and local tax collections with the quality of the services residents receive in each of the 50 states to determine which state gives back to its residents the most. To calculate the rankings, states were given a score in five categories: education, health, safety, economy, and infrastructure and pollution.

Last year, analysts discovered the best state for taxpayer ROI was New Hampshire, and the verdict remains same this year. But when it comes to the worst state, North Dakota — which claimed the losing spot in 2017 — rose three spots in the rankings. Instead, this year Hawaii was deemed to be the worst state for taxpayer ROI.

Here are the 10 best and worst states when it comes to taxpayer ROI.
Best States
Worst States
1. New Hampshire 41. Maryland    
2. Florida 42. Delaware    
3. South Dakota 43. Nevada    
4. Colorado 44. New Mexico    
5. Virginia 45. Vermont    
6. Alaska 46. New York    
7. Missouri 47. North Dakota    
8. Texas 48. California    
9. Utah 49. Arkansas    
10. Iowa 50. Hawaii    

Analysts reported other important statistics, including:
  • Massachusetts has the best school systems; Louisiana has the worst.
  • Nebraska has the best hospital systems; New Jersey has the worst.
  • Nebraska also has the lowest proportion of major roads in poor condition, which is 8.8 times lower than Connecticut, which has the highest.
  • Maine has the lowest violent-crime rate, which is 6.5 times lower than Alaska, which has the highest.
  • New Hampshire has the lowest percentage of residents in poverty, and Mississippi has the highest.
  • New Hampshire also has the lowest infant mortality rate, which is 2.2 times lower than Mississippi, which has the highest.

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