Wisconsin Taxes fall Below the National Average

Wisconsin taxes — once among the nation’s highest — have fallen to just barely below the national average, highlighting the effects of a slow shift that has played out here over a generation.

In Wisconsin in 2014, the state and local taxes paid by residents added up to 10.5% of their income, compared with the 10.6% that state and local taxes took up of Americans’ incomes across the country. The figures come from 2014 U.S. Census data, the most recent available and the first to account for more than $500 million in tax cuts made in the spring of that year by Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans in the Legislature.

After peaking in 1973 at 14.7% of income, the tax bite in the state has been steadily declining as a share of how much money people here earn, according to figures from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

Wisconsin is now 22nd highest in the country when measuring taxes against income. Because high-tax states such as New York can skew the national average upward, it’s possible for a state to fall below the national average in taxes but still rank higher than 25th.

State and local taxes in 2014 added up to $4,661 per person in Wisconsin, $214 below the national average of $4,875.