These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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Every tax season, it’s hard for many Americans to stomach how high their tax bill is. Although Tax Day has been extended to May 17 this year, the still ongoing pandemic will make that bill an even harder pill to swallow this year.

In fact, according to WalletHub’s Taxpayer survey, 74% of surveyed Americans believe that the government could have handled tax dollars more efficiently during the pandemic. Nonetheless, actual return on investment, or ROI, varies widely from state-to-state. Some states receive more federal funding than others, both in terms of regular federal aid and COVID-19 aid.

Aside from federal taxes and support, states also have very different tax burdens, which also affect ROI. So, do citizens in states with higher tax burdens actually receive better services and ROI? And do citizens with lower tax burdens get a lower quality of governmental services?

WalletHub’s most recent Taxpayer Survey answered these questions by looking to see if there’s a correlation between the amount of state and local taxes collected and the quality of services provided.

Methodology

WalletHub broke down five categories to determine which states have the best and worst ROI. The categories were:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Safety
  • Economy
  • Infrastructure and Pollution

Each category was broken down further into 30 metrics, which they list on their website. Using a 100-point scale for each metric, the states with the highest scores represented those with better-quality services.

Below are the rankings from worst to best taxpayer ROI by state.

50. Louisiana

  • Total Score: 31.80
  • Education: 46
  • Health:44
  • Safety:  48
  • Economy: 48
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 48

49. New Mexico

  • Total Score: 34.88
  • Education: 49
  • Health: 20
  • Safety: 50
  • Economy: 47
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 32

48. Alaska

  • Total Score: 35.23
  • Education: 50
  • Health: 34
  • Safety: 49
  • Economy: 42
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 26

47. Mississippi

  • Total Score: 37.42
  • Education: 47
  • Health: 45
  • Safety: 30
  • Economy:44
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 49

46. South Carolina

  • Total Score: 39.63
  • Education: 39
  • Health: 47
  • Safety: 47
  • Economy: 30
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 18

45. Alabama

  • Total Score: 39.79
  • Education: 45
  • Health: 49
  • Safety: 44
  • Economy: 20
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 25

44. Nevada

  • Total Score: 40.07
  • Education: 41
  • Health: 33
  • Safety: 40
  • Economy: 50
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 19

43. Arizona

  • Total Score: 41.96
  • Education: 43
  • Health: 39
  • Safety: 41
  • Economy: 26
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 42

42. Oklahoma

  • Total Score: 42.19
  • Education: 35
  • Health: 43
  • Safety: 43
  • Economy: 22
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 45

41. Tennessee

  • Total Score: 42.24
  • Education: 29
  • Health: 46
  • Safety: 45
  • Economy: 23
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 20

40. Arkansas

  • Total Score: 42.66
  • Education: 36
  • Health: 36
  • Safety: 46
  • Economy: 33
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 13

39. West Virginia

  • Total Score: 42.71
  • Education: 44
  • Health: 42
  • Safety: 22
  • Economy: 46
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 44

38. Missouri

  • Total Score: 45.58
  • Education: 34
  • Health: 32
  • Safety: 42
  • Economy: 10
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 46

37. California

  • Total Score: 46.50
  • Education: 16
  • Health: 27
  • Safety: 36
  • Economy: 45
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 47

36. Oregon

  • Total Score: 46.67
  • Education: 42
  • Health: 23
  • Safety: 31
  • Economy: 40
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 30

35. Texas

  • Total Score: 47.93
  • Education: 38
  • Health: 40
  • Safety: 39
  • Economy: 16
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 15

34. Georgia

  • Total Score: 49.25
  • Education: 28
  • Health: 50
  • Safety: 27
  • Economy: 6
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 29

33. Hawaii

  • Total Score: 49.39
  • Education: 27
  • Health: 3
  • Safety: 26
  • Economy: 49
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 40

32. North Carolina

  • Total Score: 50.07
  • Education: 21
  • Health: 48
  • Safety: 32
  • Economy: 24
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 10

31. Michigan

  • Total Score: 50.93
  • Education: 26
  • Health: 18
  • Safety: 24
  • Economy: 35
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 43

30. Florida

  • Total Score: 51.05
  • Education: 10
  • Health: 38
  • Safety: 34
  • Economy: 39
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 31

29. Kansas

  • Total Score: 51.66
  • Education: 40
  • Health: 11
  • Safety: 37
  • Economy: 7
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 24

28. Montana

  • Total Score: These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars52.21
  • Education: 23
  • Health: 14
  • Safety: 38
  • Economy: 37
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 12

27. Colorado

  • Total Score: 53.31
  • Education: 33
  • Health: 6
  • Safety: 35
  • Economy: 13
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 23

26. Ohio

  • Total Score: 53.40
  • Education: 31
  • Health: 25
  • Safety: 17
  • Economy: 25
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 22

25. Idaho

  • Total Score: 54.01
  • Education: 48
  • Health: 28
  • Safety:11
  • Economy: 11
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 21

24. Pennsylvania

  • Total Score: 54.01
  • Education: 22
  • Health: 19
  • Safety: 16
  • Economy: 38
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 37

23. Kentucky

  • Total Score: 54.54
  • Education: 25
  • Health: 30
  • Safety: 18
  • Economy: 29
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 14

22. Illinois

  • Total Score: 55.43
  • Education: 14
  • Health: 16
  • Safety: 25
  • Economy: 21
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 27

21. South Dakota

  • Total Score: 55.46
  • Education:37
  • Health: 12
  • Safety: 29
  • Economy: 15
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 5

20. Washington

  • Total Score: 55.74
  • Education: 12
  • Health: 22
  • Safety: 21
  • Economy: 18
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 33

19. New York

  • Total Score: 55.99
  • Education: 8
  • Health: 37
  • Safety: 15
  • Economy: 41
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 28

18. Indiana

  • Total Score: 56.30
  • Education: 11
  • Health: 29
  • Safety:23
  • Economy: 17
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 16

17. Delaware

  • Total Score: 56.73
  • Education: 9
  • Health: 31
  • Safety: 33
  • Economy: 31
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 4

16. Rhode Island

  • Total Score: 57.46
  • Education: 19
  • Health: 8
  • Safety: 5
  • Economy:43
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 39

15. New Jersey

  • Total Score: 57.63
  • Education: 7
  • Health: 26
  • Safety: 3
  • Economy: 19
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 50

14. Wyoming

  • Total Score: 59.01
  • Education: 30
  • Health:35
  • Safety:  9
  • Economy: 28
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 3

13. Maine

  • Total Score: 59.36
  • Education: 32
  • Health: 13
  • Safety: 1
  • Economy:34
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 36

12. Nebraska

  • Total Score: 59.68
  • Education: 20
  • Health: 21
  • Safety: 20
  • Economy: 4
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 8

11. Massachusetts

  • Total Score: 61.59
  • Education: 13
  • Health: 2
  • Safety: 7
  • Economy: 32
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 41

10. Maryland

  • Total Score: 62.62
  • Education: 3
  • Health: 17
  • Safety: 28
  • Economy: 5
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 7

9. New Hampshire

  • Total Score: 63.20
  • Education: 18
  • Health: 9
  • Safety: 2
  • Economy: 8
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 38

8. Iowa

  • Total Score: 63.83
  • Education: 15
  • Health: 5
  • Safety: 14
  • Economy: 9
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 11

7. Utah

  • Total Score: 64.27
  • Education: 17
  • Health: 24
  • Safety: 13
  • Economy: 1
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 17

6. Wisconsin

  • Total Score: 64.28
  • Education: 1
  • Health: 15
  • Safety: 12
  • Economy: 14
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 35

5. Connecticut

  • Total Score: 64.30
  • Education: 4
  • Health: 10
  • Safety: 4
  • Economy: 27
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 34

4. North Dakota

  • Total Score: 64.47
  • Education: 24
  • Health: 4
  • Safety: 19
  • Economy: 12
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 1

3. Virginia

  • Total Score: 66.31
  • Education: 5
  • Health: 41
  • Safety: 8
  • Economy: 2
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 9

2. Vermont

  • Total Score: 67.96
  • Education: 2
  • Health: 7
  • Safety: 6
  • Economy: 36
  • Infrastructure and Pollution:  6

1. Minnesota

  • Total Score: 73.24
  • Education: 6
  • Health: 1
  • Safety: 10
  • Economy: 3
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 2

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn Farley is MediaFeed’s writer/editor. She is a masters of science in journalism candidate at Northwestern University, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.

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