How Your Take-home Pay Varies By State

UPDATED ON OCT 10, 2022 : 949 words, 5 minute read

I had a vague understanding that different states had different levels of taxes (wow Florida with that no-income tax woot woot!), but never went deeper. The rise of remote work in the last couple years brought this question into sharper focus:

Given a remote worker allowed to live in any state, with salary not adjusted, how does their tax burden vary?

Cost of living
This analysis does not take into account cost of living - this is purely based on my chosen scenario with no regard for housing, job market opportunities, etc.

The data

I found a handy online calculator for the base data, ran it for a variety of salaries, then did some simple calcs on the aggregate across states & salary buckets.

Buckets I chose:

  • $50k, $75k, $100k, $125k - (then for giggles & Silicon Valley folks) - $150k, $200k, $250k, $300k.

[ℹī¸] If you want to dive deeper into the data for your exact salary, I highly recommend checking out that calculator, because they also provide extra information, like how much a marginal salary increase will net you. Example: For instance, an increase of $100 in your salary will be taxed $25.15, hence, your net pay will only increase by $74.85. src .

Best & worst states, per salary bucket

This table goes through and compares the best & worst amounts of take-home pay for each of the salary buckets. My personal takeaways:

  • I thought the difference between best & worst would be higher, but it’s fairly consistent around 8% of your base salary. Guess that’s the Federal taxes keeping things level.
  • If I made $75k base salary in Hawaii and then moved to Florida, I’d have an extra $5,659.00 to spend on plastic trinkets from Amazon. Wild!
  • If you aren’t moving highest taxes to lowest, but highest to mid tier, that number drops to median of $3,335.00. A couple grand ain’t nothing, but that’s in best case scenario of highest taxes to average - which won’t be a lot of people. I haven’t done the calculations for averaging the difference between every combination of states, but it would likely be $2-4k.
    • I had originally hypothesized it would be a no-brainer to move for a free & sizable “bonus” to your salary. Looks like it’s not so cut-and-dry, especially considering moving can be an expensive endeavor on it’s own.
salary bucketbestworstbest_pctworst_pctbest_stateworst_statediff $diff_pct_of_base_paymedian $median diff $mean $
50k$41,935.00$38,313.0016.10%23.40%FloridaHawaii$3,622.007.24%$39,842.00$2,093.00$40,129.00
75k$59,995.00$54,336.0020.00%27.60%FloridaHawaii$5,659.007.55%$56,660.00$3,335.00$57,063.86
100k$77,582.00$69,819.0022.40%30.20%FloridaOregon$7,763.007.76%$72,946.00$4,636.00$73,473.90
125k$94,710.00$84,336.0024.20%32.50%FloridaCalifornia$10,374.008.30%$88,827.00$5,883.00$89,406.49
150k$111,984.00$98,902.0025.30%34.10%FloridaOregon$13,082.008.72%$104,797.00$7,187.00$105,466.33
200k$147,899.00$129,626.0026.10%35.20%FloridaCalifornia$18,273.009.14%$137,999.00$9,900.00$138,976.90
250k$179,657.00$156,269.0028.10%37.50%FloridaCalifornia$23,388.009.36%$167,282.00$12,375.00$168,291.27
300k$211,416.00$182,913.0029.50%39.00%FloridaCalifornia$28,503.009.50%$196,387.00$15,029.00$197,606.22

Range of rankings, per state

I was then curious about how states vary in ranking as income increases. My personal takeaways:

  • Vermont (28), New Jersey (25), and California (22) had the largest change in ranking across the 8 salary buckets. Seems like those are states that are pretty decent to be in at “common” salary bands, but if you’re crazy rich the taxes are giving you a hard time.
  • The top 10 states didn’t budge at all - this makes sense as 8 of them don’t have state income tax, and NH doesn’t tax earned wages . North Dakota holds it spot by having it at <3% even if you make $500k/year .

    ⚠ī¸ It was mentioned to me that Washington has some FMLA Tax that doesn’t technically count as state tax, but which should end up demoting it on this list. I couldn’t find any specific % numbers to include, but if you have more info I’d appreciate if you reached out!

  • Median change was 5 places - which to me feels like a fairly consistent set of rankings. I have no stats background, so just nod along if that’s wildly innacurate 😅.
LowestHighestDiff
Florida110
Nevada220
New Hampshire330
South Dakota440
Tennessee550
Texas660
Wyoming770
Alaska880
Washington990
North Dakota10100
New Jersey113625
Ohio12175
Arizona11132
Louisiana14162
Pennsylvania12153
Indiana13163
Vermont174528
Arkansas183416
Missouri19267
New Mexico20255
North Carolina21243
Oklahoma19223
Rhode Island172710
Alabama142410
Colorado18257
Iowa263610
Mississippi20277
Michigan162812
California295122
Delaware30388
Idaho31409
Kansas30333
West Virginia33407
Wisconsin30344
Maryland243511
Virginia34395
Georgia33374
Kentucky233815
Nebraska39434
Illinois224018
Maine41465
Utah264216
Massachusetts294314
Montana39445
New York42464
Minnesota44495
Washington DC47492
South Carolina42486
Connecticut43496
Oregon50511
Hawaii47514

Fin

Want to play with the data yourself? Make a copy of the Google Sheet source and go wild! Questions? ideas? Let me know what you come up with on Twitter .


See Also