Only one in four Americans thinks the government has handled their tax dollars wisely during the pandemic, according to a new survey from WalletHub.
Taxpayers invest in federal, state and local governments, but often are unaware of the return on their investment — which can make them wonder what they get in return.
According to WalletHub, taxpayer ROI varies based on where a person lives. Federal income-tax rates are uniform across the nation, but some states receive a lot more funding than others.
Different states have also received vastly different amounts of COVID-19 aid.
Add to this the fact that state taxes vary dramatically. Does this mean that people in high-tax states receive superior government services, or that those in low-tax states more efficient or receive low-quality services?
WalletHub aimed to find out where taxpayers get the most and least bang for their buck. Researchers contrasted state and local tax collections with the quality of the services residents receive in the 50 states within the categories of education, health, safety, economy, and infrastructure and pollution.
The data set included 30 key metrics, each of which was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the best quality of government service.
WalletHub then determined each state’s weighted average across all 30 metrics to calculate an overall government services score. Finally, it came up with a taxpayer ROI ranking by comparing each state’s over government services score (1 being the best) to its total taxes paid per capita (1 being the lowest).
See the panel above the 12 states with the best taxpayer return on investment, according to WalletHub.