It's easy to think of our tax system as consisting solely of federal income tax rates. There, the top marginal tax rate is 39.5% which, when we compare it to other tax rates around the world, seems low. When taking into account the entirety of our tax system, a more dangerous picture emerges.
Kyle Pomerleau of the Tax Foundation writes that there are three states in which the highest-bracket taxpayers will face tax rates over 50%:
Californians face the highest top marginal tax rate on wage income at 51.9 percent, followed by Hawaii (50.5 percent), and New York (50.3 percent). Even high income earners in states with no income tax such as New Hampshire, Texas, and Nevada face top marginal income tax rates over 42 percent. The average across all states is 47.9 percent.
Rounding out the highest-tax states are Oregon, New Jersey and Vermont, which all have marginal tax rates over 50% for upper income-earners: