Up Front

3 Things We Can Learn about Income Tax Burdens from a Map

Benjamin H. Harris

Our interactive map of income taxes in your county looks at average taxes paid, in dollars and as share of income, at the county level nationwide.* Here are three main takeaways from the map:

1. There is a lot of variation in the average county income tax bill

One out of every ten counties has an average income tax bill of roughly $2,400 or less, while another one out of every ten counties has an average income tax bill of roughly $7,000 or more. This variation is largely reflective of differences in income.

2. But when income taxes are expressed as a share of income, tax bills look more similar

Average taxes as a share of income tend to amount to around 10 percent in most counties. The middle 80 percent of counties—all but the lowest and highest 10 percent—have average tax bills of between 8 percent and 12 percent of income.

3. Income taxes paid, in dollars, tended to be higher around metropolitan areas

Tax bills tended to be higher around cities, where incomes are often higher. In particular, counties located near the corridor between Washington, DC and New York City, the California coast, Seattle, and southern Florida, and inland cities such as Dallas, Denver, and Chicago, all tended to have higher average tax bills than rural counties.

See the full set of the tax maps here »

*Data are from 2007.