(NewsNation) — A new survey from WalletHub shows that New Hampshire and Florida are two of the best states for taxpayers to live if they want to see more bang for their tax bucks.
While many people — 73%, according to WalletHub — don’t think the government spends their tax dollars wisely, some states are seen as doing better than others. WalletHub used data to see which states are viewed as giving residents the best return on their investment — and which give the worst.
WalletHub compared and contrasted state and local tax collections with the quality of services residents receive in each state in five categories: education, health, safety, economy, as well as a fifth category combining infrastructure and pollution.
Taking the top spot in the survey was New Hampshire, followed by Florida, Alaska, South Dakota and Texas. Last on the list? California, which was joined by Hawaii, New Mexico, Arkansas and Delaware.
Ultimately, though, experts say whether a state’s taxes yield a good investment for residents is up to the residents themselves.
“We can say that higher tax burdens likely lead to more government services. Whether more government services equate to “better” government services is a value judgment for each individual taxpayer,” Stephen J. Lusch, an accounting professor at Texas Christian University, said. “The value someone puts on a particular benefit will vary from taxpayer to taxpayer.”
It’s hard to put a value on something like a state’s return on investment when that is intangible, Ryan Ellis, president of the Center for a Free Economy, said. But one metric that is easy to track with data is the number of people moving into high-tax states or low-tax states, he pointed out on “Morning in America.”
“You look at the IRS data … U-Haul keeps data on who moves where — we’ve found that over the last 10 to 20 years, overwhelmingly, people have voted with their feet to go from high-tax states to low-tax states,” Ellis said.