Alabama has the Fifth Lowest Tax Burden in the Nation for 2013

Feb 03, 2015

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, Alabama collected $14.5 billion in state and local taxes. While this is an impressive sum of money, it tells us little about whether or not the average Alabama taxpayer can afford this level of taxation.

As shown in Chart 1, Alabama’s state and local tax burden (tax collections divided by personal income) was the third lowest in the nation for FY 2013 at 8.3 percent—or 20 percent below the national average of 10.3 percent. Not surprisingly, as shown in Chart 2, the tax burden has grown modestly over time by 33 percent to 8.3 percent in FY 2013 from 6.3 percent in FY 1950.

Alabama State and Local Tax Burden Rank 2013.jpg

Alabama’s low tax burden is not driven by any particular element in their tax code. However, unlike states such as New York, all of Alabama’s state level taxes are fairly modest with tax burden falling at or below the national average. At the local level, the property tax burden is rock-bottom at 1.5 percent which is 54 percent below the national average (3.2 percent) and is the 2nd lowest ranked in the country.


#Alabama #taxburden has grown 33 percent between FY 1950 to 2013 to 8.3% from 6.3%. (click to tweet)

Of course, the tax burdens for local government can vary just as much as they do among the 50 states. As such, we have also calculated the local government tax burden for every county in Alabama—this includes every taxing jurisdiction within the geographic county borders whether it is a city, a special district, or county government itself.

The Alabama counties with the highest local government tax burden include: Jefferson County, AL (4.5 percent), Mobile County, AL (4.2 percent), and Butler County, AL (3.8 percent). The Alabama counties with the lowest local government tax burden include: Lawrence County, AL (1 percent), Limestone County, AL (1.2 percent), and Pickens County, AL (1.3 percent).

Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2013.

Alabama State and Local Tax Burden 1950 to 2013.jpg

Category: Tax Burdens

J. Scott Moody

Scott has nearly 20 years of experience as a public policy economist. He is the author, co-author and editor of over 180 studies and books. His professional experience also includes positions at the American Conservative Union Foundation, Granite Institute, Federalism In Action, Maine Heritage Policy Center, Tax Foundation, and Heritage Foundation.

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