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Does Florida Have One of the Lowest Tax Burdens in America?

Townhall Media

As we inch toward 2024 and wonder "Will he or won't he?" when it comes to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announcing his presidential candidacy, the GOP governor continues to set an example for the rest of the country with the free state of Florida.


CLAIM: "The state of Florida has set a standard for this country," DeSantis declared on April 13 while speaking as a special guest at an annual gala-style Lincoln Day dinner before hundreds of conservative Ohioans in Butler County, a Republican stronghold.

Touting the fast-growing Sunshine State's economic and educational freedom as some of the effective lures that draw Florida-bound transplants, DeSantis also highlighted its low taxes. "Our tax burden, and we have no state income tax, you all should try that sometime. It works pretty good," DeSantis said. "We have the second-lowest tax burden per capita in the United States."

FACTS: Let's look at different metrics measuring tax-burden rankings by state and how Florida compares in terms of tax collection. For example, the Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA) calculates a state's tax burden by taking how much the populace pays in taxes and dividing it by the state's population to find the average tax payment per person. FTA's 2021 rankings—numbered from highest to lowest burden—place Florida in 49th place, just above GOP-led Texas (50th) and Alaska (51st). As for the FTA's 2022 state-by-state breakdown, Florida claimed the 50th spot last year in front of New Hampshire at the bottom.


This calculation method is known as a per-capita measure. Florida TaxWatch, an independent non-partisan government watchdog, uses the same tax-burden definition. In 2022, ordered from highest burden to lowest, the taxpayer-research institute ranked Florida 48th, rising one rank from the lowest state-level tax burden tax burden in the country throughout the previous fiscal years. The climb was not due to tax hikes, but economic growth and increased consumer spending, Florida TaxWatch concludes.

The think tank Tax Foundation defines a state's tax burden as the amount of state and local taxes that residents pay divided by the state's share of net national product, which is intended to provide a better overview of "true tax burdens" by looking at taxes that American citizens pay to the governments of states and localities beyond the ones we live in, factoring in movement across state lines for work and leisure as well as the national economy's interconnectedness. Using this formula, per the foundation's 2022 statistics, Florida had the country's 11th lowest tax burden when examining only state taxes and at a mix of state and local taxes.

Personal finance site WalletHub sees tax burdens as a proportion of total personal income that residents pay toward state and local taxes. By this measurement, from highest-to-lowest burden ranking, Florida was 46th on WalletHub's tax tier this year.


Source: WalletHub

USAFacts, a non-partisan nonprofit, explores state and local tax revenue as a percentage of personal income that accounts for the differences in average incomes nationwide. Per the organization's 2020 data, Florida was the second-lowest tax burden state.

TOWNHALL's RATING: DeSantis is right. His claim that Florida has one of the lowest tax burdens in America is TRUE. In comparison to other U.S. states, Florida has among the lowest tax burdens in the nation, regardless of how it's calculated.

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