States Vary Widely in Number of Tax Filers with No Income Tax Liability

Scott A. Hodge writing at TaxFoundation.org back in 2010:

Southern States Have Highest Percentages of “Nonpayers”

Generally speaking, the most populated states have the most nonpayers. More than 6 million tax-filing Californians paid nothing to Uncle Sam for the 2008 tax year. That was 37 percent of the 16.4 million tax filers in California.

The map on page 1 and the table below show the percentage of tax filers in each state who have no income tax liability as well as the state’s rank among the other 50 states. Nine of the ten states with the largest percentage of nonpayers are in the South and Southwest. In Mississippi, 45 percent of federal tax returns remit nothing or receive money with their federal tax returns; that is the highest percentage nationally. Georgia is next at 41 percent, followed by Arkansas at 41 percent, and Alabama, South Carolina, and New Mexico at 40 percent.

Take a look at the map of Non-Payers by State (2008).

One can’t help but notice the prominence of the “Bible belt” among the states with the highest percentage of income tax non-payers…

Draw your own conclusions of course, but let me just point out that while correlation is not causation, anyone who doesn’t keep there head buried in the sand can immediately put together the plain facts that increased religiosity results in reduced education which results in reduced employ-ability which results in reduced employment which results in either vastly reduced income or government assistance, either of which results in no income tax liability.

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