Taxpayer ROI in Ohio better than most states


(The Center Square) — Who says taxpayers don’t see a return on their investment?

A new analysis from WalletHub determined that Ohio has the sixth-best ROI for taxpayers.

The website used 31 metrics as part of its analysis, which looked at “the quality and efficiency of state-government services across five categories,” including education, infrastructure and safety. As part of its study, the site took into account the rates states tax their residents.

“Ohio has a better ROI than most other states because its residents get decent government services, even though they pay fairly low state and local taxes,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said in an email to The Center Square. “For example, the state has a school voucher program that allows students to use public money to attend a private school.

“Other advantages include a low health insurance premium, increased traffic safety, and the fact that a large share of the population receives fluoridated water through community water systems,” Gonzalez added. “In a nutshell, the best practices for states to have a better ROI would be to be able to offer quality services while imposing lower taxes.”

New Hampshire topped the list, followed by Florida and South Dakota. Conversely, Hawaii ranked at the bottom, followed by New Mexico at No. 49 and California at No. 48.

The Buckeye State performed better than neighbors Kentucky (No. 14), Indiana (No. 16), Michigan (No. 19) and Pennsylvania (No. 25). Nationally, the analysis revealed Republican-controlled – or “red” – states have a better ROI than those controlled by Democrats – or “blue” states.

“The ranking is based on data from official sources, in order to determine which states yield the best and worst return on investment for taxpayers,” Gonzalez said.

“We did not survey people, specifically to eliminate any subjectivity from the results,” Gonzalez added. “Even if taxpayers don’t use public schools, there are plenty of other ways for them to benefit from the return on investment. It could be health care, law enforcement, infrastructure, or even the level of pollution.”

A new analysis from the Tax Foundation found the combined state and average local sales tax in Ohio is 7.17 percent, the 21st highest rate nationwide. Ohio had a higher rate than Indiana, which ranked No. 24 with a 7 percent rate; Pennsylvania, which ranked No. 34 with a 6.34 percent rate; and Kentucky and Michigan, which both had 6 percent and ranked No. 38.

Tennessee had the highest sales tax rate nationally (9.55 percent), followed by Arkansas (9.53 percent) and Louisiana (9.52 percent), the analysis found.

By Todd DeFeo

The Center Square

Todd DeFeo is a contributor to The Center Square

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