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Wed., Feb. 23, 2011, 8:36 a.m.

Idaho, Washington tax burdens fall

State and local taxes in 2009 took 9.3 percent of resident incomes in Washington, and 9.4 percent in Idaho, according to figures released today by the Tax Foundation.

The shares earned Idaho a ranking of 28th, Washington 29th among the 50 states.

Washinton residents paid an average $4,408 in state and local taxes on incomes of $47,361. Idaho residents paid $3,276 on incomes of $34,973.

Washington's ranking was unchanged from 2008, when taxes equaled 9.4 percent of income. Idaho fell from 20th despite a share that fell from 9.8 percent.

 New Jersey taxpayers took the hardest hit, 12.2 percent, Alaskans the lowest, 6.3 percent.

The foundation's calculations include taxes levied in one state but paid by those in another. Alaska, for example, collects almost 80 percent of its revenues from taxpayers in other states because of its state levy on oil production. 

Study author Mark Robyn said the average state and local tax burden for all states fell in 2009 compared with 2008. The share peaked at 10.4 percent in 1977.

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Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.