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State taxes on your mind? Let’s compare Idaho vs. Washington in total tax burden

Wednesday's SR business section included a story about how Washington and Idaho fare in a national ranking for total sales tax rates. (Not total taxes paid.) Washington's sales rate was fourth-highest; Idaho's was 36th.

The source is the nonpartisan DC think tank, the Tax Foundation.

What we didn't include were a few other Tax Foundation lists, including one last produced in 2009, which took into account all tax rates at the city, county and  state levels. On that list, Idaho ranked just ahead of Washington for overall tax burden, which compares amount of taxes paid versus per capita income.

Idaho in that ranking was 28th highest in the country, at 9.4 percent of all income going to taxes.

Washington stood at No. 29, with a tax rate of 9.3 percent. Here are the data.

Notably, Idaho hits that mark because it has a state personal and state corporate income tax, while Washington doesn't. (Washington does have a business and occupation tax, however.)

Both have state and local retail sales taxes. For property taxes, Washington is much more burdensome: the per capita amount of property tax in the Evergreen state is $1,226; in Idaho it's $813.

This summary explains the Tax Foundation methodology for its tax burden ranking:

“For nearly two decades the Tax Foundation has published an estimate of the combined state-local tax burden shouldered by the residents of each of the 50 states. For each state, we calcu­late the total amount paid by the residents in taxes, then divide those taxes by the state's total income to compute a “tax burden.” We make this calculation not only for the most recent year but also for earlier years because tax and income data are revised periodically by govern­ment agencies.”

The federal taxes are not included in this ranking, in that the federal rates are uniform across all 50 states and would not really help determine what this list offers — a state-focused analysis of taxes paid.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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