National Study Ranks Alabama's Tax Burden 38th

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - According to a new national study, Alabama ranks 38th in the nation for the tax burden on its citizens.

The Tax Foundation projects that Alabama's state, city and county governments will collect $3,144 per person in taxes in 2008. That will be the lowest amount per capita of any state. But when the amount is compared to the state's per capita income of $36,372, the taxes amount to 8.6 percent of the per capita income. That ranks Alabama 38th.

Nationwide, the nonpartisan tax research group says the average taxes for this year will be $4,283. That represents 9.7 percent of the per capita income of $44,254. The foundation said the highest tax burden as a percentage of income is in New Jersey, at 11.8 percent, and the lowest is in Alaska, at 6.4 percent. Alaska is a state where a majority of the taxes, largely on energy, are paid by out-of-staters.

Jim Bryce, a law professor at the University of Alabama with expertise in state and local taxes, said Alabama's relatively low tax burden is not surprising because the lowest ratios are in states with relatively low per capita income. Among Alabama's neighboring states, the Tax Foundation calculates the tax burdens at 7.4 percent in Florida, 9.9 percent in Georgia, 8.9 percent in Mississippi and 8.3 percent in Tennessee.

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