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 affects 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.

Image Credit: Ivelin Radkov/Shutterstock.

Methodology

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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.

Image Credit: alfexe.

50. Louisiana

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr.

49. New Mexico

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: Davel5957.

48. Alaska

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: julof90.

47. Mississippi

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

46. South Carolina

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

45. Alabama

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: Sean Pavone.

44. Nevada

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: AlizadaStudios.

43. Arizona

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: reisegraf.

42. Oklahoma

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

41. Tennessee

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: NathanMerrill.

40. Arkansas

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: Tara Ballard.

39. West Virginia

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

38. Missouri

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

37. California

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: Art Wager.

36. Oregon

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: HaizhanZheng.

35. Texas

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr.

34. Georgia

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: SeanPavonePhoto.

33. Hawaii

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: Art Wager.

32. North Carolina

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

31. Michigan

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: haveseen.

30. Florida

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

29. Kansas

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: Tiago_Fernandez / iStock.

28. Montana

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

  • Total Score: 52.21
  • Education: 23
  • Health: 14
  • Safety: 38
  • Economy: 37
  • Infrastructure and Pollution: 12

Image Credit: David Butler.

27. Colorado

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: Jacob Boomsma / iStock.

26. Ohio

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: dypics.

25. Idaho

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: knowlesgallery.

24. Pennsylvania

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: weaver1234.

23. Kentucky

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: Thomas Kelley.

22. Illinois

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: IanDikhtiar.

21. South Dakota

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: RiverNorthPhotography.

20. Washington

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: 4nadia.

19. New York

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: Boogich.

18. Indiana

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: f11photo.

17. Delaware

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: mdgmorris.

16. Rhode Island

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: danlogan.

15. New Jersey

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: Ultima_Gaina / iStock.

14. Wyoming

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: AnujSahaiPhotography.

13. Maine

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

12. Nebraska

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: marekuliasz.

11. Massachusetts

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: Rolf_52.

10. Maryland

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: James_Lane.

9. New Hampshire

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

8. Iowa

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: JoeChristensen.

7. Utah

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: AndreyKrav.

6. Wisconsin

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: FierceAbin.

5. Connecticut

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr.

4. North Dakota

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: sequential5.

3. Virginia

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: tmersh.

2. Vermont

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr.

1. Minnesota

These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

  • 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.

Image Credit: Scruggelgreen.


These are the states doing the most with your taxpayer dollars

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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