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Last updated 3:02AM ET
March 9, 2021
Alabama
Alabama
Alabama Has Lowest Taxes ... Again
(2008-07-07)
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Alabama can again claim to have the nation's lowest state and local taxes per person.

New U.S. Census Bureau reports for fiscal 2006 show Alabama's state, county and city governments collected $2,782 in taxes per person. The national median, with half the states below and half above, was $3,700.

Alabama's state, county and city governments collected $12.8 billion in taxes in fiscal 2006. At the median rate, Alabamians would have paid an additional $4.2 billion in taxes.

When the taxes per capita are calculated as a percentage of average income, Alabama ranked 46th, with Alabamians' taxes equaling 13.1 percent of their income.

Wyoming was highest at 24.9 percent and New Hampshire lowest at 11.9 percent. One Southern state ranked lower than Alabama by that measure: Tennessee was 49th at 12.9 percent.

Jim Williams, executive director of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, said the state has had the nation's lowest state and local tax collections per person for more than a decade.

Williams told The Birmingham News that all governments try to provide the same services, such as roads, schools and police protection. "We're trying to do the same thing with about 70 percent of the money, and that's a hard thing to do," he said.

New York led the nation in fiscal 2006 with $6,413 in state and local taxes per person.

Among neighboring states, Florida collected $3,693 per person, 26th highest among the 50 states. Georgia took in $3,321, ranking 35th. Tennessee received $2,838, ranking 48th. Mississippi collected $2,822, finishing 49th.

State Finance Director Jim Main, who is Gov. Bob Riley's top budget adviser, said many Alabamians like paying low taxes.

He said most state lawmakers in recent years have refused to even discuss big tax increases.

"Apparently, from the hesitancy of a lot of elected politicians, their constituencies have sent them a message that they did not want their taxes raised," Main said.

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