States with the Highest Top Income Tax Rates

APRIL 24, 2014
Laura Joszt
Though most people just finished filing 2013’s taxes a few weeks ago, it’s never too early to start considering this year’s taxes.
As taxpayers know, the state they live in greatly influences the taxes they pay. For instance, there are some states where property taxes are just a couple hundred dollars a year and others where people pay more than $10,000.
Then there’s state income tax, which are structured very differently across the country. And the Tax Foundation recently released its report on the top state income tax rates for 2014.
There are 7 lucky states with no income tax at all (Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming) and others have a flat rate (Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Utah). North Carolina just recently moved from 3 brackets to a flat tax state, according to the Tax Foundation.
To further show how diverse income taxes can be state by state, New Hampshire and Tennessee only tax interest and dividends income, not wages.
Lucky taxpayers in Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin will be happy to know these states made across-the-board income tax rate reductions relative to 2013 taxes.
And while some states offer generous standard deductions and personal exemptions to help taxpayers adjust income based on household size, most of the states with the highest top tax rate don’t.

Here are the states with the highest top income tax rates.
(Note: Brackets are for single taxpayers. States handle joint filers and married filing separately differently.)
10. Wisconsin
Top marginal rate: 7.65%
Standard deduction: $9,930
Personal exemption: $700

Racine, © Jeremy Atherton, 2007
Despite across-the-board tax rate reductions, Wisconsin still has one of the highest top tax rates. To get hit by the top rate, filers must earn more than $240,190, which is a large jump from the second highest bracket at $21,820.
The tax climate in Wisconsin isn’t great for businesses, either, as the Tax Foundation has reported that the state has one of the worst state business tax climates.

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