10. Maryland

Fisherman on Tangier Island showing a male and female blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) to tourists.
dmvphotos / Shutterstock
Maryland taxpayers have a right to be crabby.

In Maryland, they sell souvenir T-shirts that say "Don't bother me, I'm crabby." It's a joke about the state's famous and delicious crustaceans — but it might also sum up how residents feel about their taxes.

The average Marylander shells out (pun intended) $6,343 a year in taxes, while government spending on services, infrastructure, education and public safety equals $7,431 per person.

That gives the state's taxpayers a return on their investment of just 1.43%.

9. Colorado

Mountain Landscape in Colorado Rocky Mountains, Colorado, United States.
Galyna Andrushko / Shutterstock
Rocky Mountain high? Not when it comes to the value of taxes paid in the state.

In a land of legal weed, the old song title "Rocky Mountain High" is now a punch line. But people in Colorado would never joke about getting "high" value for their tax dollars.

State residents pay an average $4,790 each year in taxes and get back $5,845 per person in government spending on roads and bridges, schools, police and other services.

That makes for a return on investment per taxpayer of only 1.40%.

8. New Jersey

Group of young people walking in cold day, having fun/ Downtown of Manhattan on the background/Young people grimace, show language.
Elena Vasilchenko / Shutterstock
Given the taxes, why do these New Jerseyans seem so happy?

People in New Jersey will tell you that they don't get enough respect. But what they do get is taxed. There are tons of taxes — though relatively little to show for them.

Garden State residents annually hand over an average $6,549 in taxes. They receive $7,552 per person in government spending on trains and other infrastructure, education, public safety and the rest.

That means each taxpayer gets a return on investment of just 1.39%.

7. Indiana

basketball ball with the flag of indiana state lying on the floor near the white line
esfera / Shutterstock
Hoosier Daddy? And what does he think of the taxes he's paying?

People in Indiana are called Hoosiers. Taxes in the state are called a very poor value.

Indiana taxpayers take an average $4,099 hit each year. In exchange, they get $4,775 per person from government spending on roads and bridges, education (including Indiana University), police and other services.

That works out to a return on investment for the state's residents of a mere 1.34%.

6. Virginia

The love sign in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Michele M Cook / Shutterstock
Virginians probably feel a different emotion where taxes are concerned.

Virginia may be for lovers, but for taxpayers? Not so much, according to the RewardExpert study.

The average Virginian faces a tax bill of $4,822 per year and gets back $5,548 in government spending on services, infrastructure, schools and public safety.

That makes for a measly return on investment per taxpayer of only 1.10%.

5. New Hampshire

Mount Washington Summit New Hampshire
Cory Knowlton / Shutterstock
Taxes in New Hampshire blow -- like the winds atop Mount Washington.

The Granite State has no personal income tax, no state sales tax and no inheritance or state tax. But taxes still blow — like the high winds atop Mount Washington. The state has high property tax rates, plus taxes on interest and dividends.

New Hampshire taxpayers each pay an average $4,725 a year, while government spending on highways, schools, public safety and other services comes out to $5,470 per person.

That gives the state's residents a return on their investment of just 1.06%.

4. Nevada

Casino Slot Machines. Las Vegas Strip Digital Slot Machine Closeup. Sin City Gabling. Las Vegas, United States.
welcomia / Shutterstock
Nevada taxpayers hardly feel like winners.

Odds are that your tax dollars won't go very far in the state that's home to Las Vegas and other gambling meccas.

Though Nevada also has no state income tax, residents annually pay taxes averaging $5,059 — and they receive just $5,260 each in government spending on education, infrastructure, police and the other things that matter.

The math works out to a return on investment for Nevada taxpayers of just a crummy 0.38%.

3. Connecticut

Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut, USA during autumn.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock
Unlike the autumn leaves at the state Capitol, Connecticut taxes aren't pretty.

Connecticut is a small, expensive state with big tax bills, and residents pretty much get what they pay for — nothing more.

People living in this corner of New England that dips into the New York City suburbs pay an average $7,732 per year in taxes while benefiting from government services and other public spending to the tune of just $7,861 each.

That gives Connecticut taxpayers a return on their investment of a teensy 0.20%.

2. North Dakota

A snowstorm passes thru fargo, North dakota in winter.
FiledIMAGE / Shutterstock
Winters are bleak in North Dakota -- and so are the taxes.

Quick, which state is the one where taxes bite hardest? New York? California? Nope — North Dakota has the worst tax burdens of any state, and behind only the District of Columbia.

Residents pay taxes averaging an astounding $9,465 per person. Each receives nearly the same amount — $9,532 — in spending on highways, police services, education and the rest.

The return on investment for North Dakota taxpayers is a microscopic 0.11%.

1. Hawaii

Hawaii vacation - Mai Tai and aloha spirit.
Maridav / Shutterstock
You may need more than a few Mai Tais to cope with the taxes in Hawaii.

Ah, the beaches! The luaus! The hula dancers! But the 50th state is no paradise when it comes to taxes. In fact, Hawaii is the only state where people pay more in taxes than they get back, in terms of state and local government spending.

Hawaiian taxpayers say aloha (in this case, meaning "goodbye") to an average $6,942 a year. But spending on infrastructure, schools and services comes out to $6,826 per person.

That makes for a losing return on investment of -0.16%.

About the Author

Doug Whiteman

Doug Whiteman


Doug Whiteman is the editor-in-chief of MoneyWise. He has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and CNBC.com and has been interviewed on Fox Business, CBS Radio and the syndicated TV show "First Business."

You May Also Like

Capital One Shopping vs. Honey — Which One Saves You More?

These similar-looking services provided totally different results in our test run.

Do Big Stores Save You the Most? We Price-Check Our Shopping List

With one 30-second trick, we found $460 in savings beyond Walmart and Amazon.

Take a Break From Your Debt This Month

Let debt consolidation give you a break.