More Like New Jersey Every Year

Source: Tax Foundation

An average tax collections per capita of $4,560 ranked Virginia 23rd in the country for highest state and local tax burden in Fiscal 2016, according to the 2019 Tax Foundation report. That’s up from $4,204 and a 26th rank in Fiscal 2014.

Is it worth it? Are we getting a big bang for our buck, or are we, as the northernmost Southern state, becoming more and more like the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states?

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10 responses to “More Like New Jersey Every Year

  1. Tax bite per capita is one measure, and tax bite as a percentage of income another. Virginia ranks fairly high on per-capita income. There are substantial cost of living difference around the U.S. The Tax Foundation has taken to publishing one of these charts every week or so, scattering their data, which leaves you scrambling to put the pieces together sometime.

  2. What would be an interesting map would be one of Virginia counties that shows how much each county paid in Virginia taxes…

    here’s an older one that shows income – one for income taxes would probably look a lot like this.

    So in that regard, I’d posit that it’s Eastern Va that looks more like New Jersey and Western Va looks more like West Virginia.

  3. If you do a simple comparison between tax collections and income per capita: Virginia looks more like Georgia or South Carolina, state and local taxes are about 12 percent of income per capita. North Carolina actually has a higher ratio of taxes to income.

  4. Also fair to note that’s 2016 data, pre-Medicaid expansion. Give that report two more years and see where Virginia ranks.

    • How would Medicaid expansion result in an increase in taxes? Would the “assessment” of hospitals for Medicaid show up as taxes in the Tax Foundation calculations? Of course, whatever the GA decides this year on taxes could affect Va.’s ranking.

  5. NoVa is getting to be NJ-equivalent. At least NJ we know where the money goes: home rule and every interesection is a town with its own town hall and police force and high school etc.

    • Exactly right. In the asinine world of Virginia’s strict compliance with Dillon’s Rule your taxes flood into the cesspool of Richmond where the bourbon and branch water Politburo skim, slide, steal and hide the money. Larry’s chart (above) shows where the money comes from. God only knows where it goes.

      • Remember, these comparisons include both state and local taxes. Much of the higher taxes per capita shown for Northern Virginia result from local property and sales taxes. The higher local property tax revenue are a function of both higher tax rates and higher-value homes. And how the local tax revenue is used is under the control of the locality–not the bourbon and branch water folks in Richmond. And you should be able to find out, fairly easily, how those taxes are used. When I visit my daughter in Northern Virginia, it is easy to see how some of those taxes are used–the recreational center facilities are superb.

  6. Jim raises an excellent question – are we getting value for our expenditure.

    But there are two ways of looking at the question –
    1. Do our taxes efficiently provide the level of governmental services that we have selected as a state-wide community?
    2. Have we selected an appropriate level of governmental services?

    Most of our left-right discussion focuses on the second question. But the first question is critical to good governance.

    Jim also notes that the trend is for taxes to rise. One reason, of course, is that we have found it difficult to continually increase productivity in some critical services provided by government, for example, education and safety. As a result, these services become more expensive relative to goods and services where continuous productivity gains have been achieved.

    However, we should not be overly myopic in our comparison of state tax burdens. The difference between the per capita burden in Virginia (#23) is only
    $50 per month greater than the burden in North Carolina (#32) or West Virginia (#33). In the larger scheme of things, this does not seem to be a shocking difference.

    Which brings us back to Jim’s original question – are we getting value for our money?

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