In Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, Missouri collected $21.9 billion in state and local taxes. While this is an impressive sum of money, it tells us little about whether or not the average Missouri taxpayer can afford this level of taxation.
As shown in Chart 1, Missouri’s state and local tax burden (tax collections divided by private sector personal income) was the eleventh lowest in the nation for FY 2015 at 12.6 percent—or -13 percent below the national average of 14.4 percent.
As shown in Chart 2, Missouri’s tax burden has increased over time by 84 percent to 12.6 percent in FY 2015 from 6.8 percent in FY 1950.
As shown in Chart 3, Missouri’s 12.6 percent tax burden is greater than these combined industries: retail trade (6.5 percent), and construction (5.9 percent).
Missouri’s lower than average state and local tax burden is driven by a low corporate income tax burden (0.3 percent, 10th lowest), property tax burden (3.4 percent, 12th lowest), and all other taxes burden (2.1 percent, 9th lowest).
Additionally, Missouri taxpayers have the benefit of the Hancock Amendment which was added to the Missouri Constitution in 1980. The amendment caps revenue to 5.6959 percent of personal income. Any revenue exceeding the cap must be refunded to the taxpayers. Here is one of my earliest studies I wrote and deals with the Hancock Amendment that I did while working for the Tax Foundation (pdf) and here is a more technical review of the Hancock Amendment from the Institute of Public Policy at the University of Missouri (pdf).
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 Missouri—this includes every taxing jurisdiction within the geographic county borders whether it is a city, a special district, or county government itself.
The Missouri counties/cities with the highest local government tax burden include:
The Missouri counties/cities with the lowest local government tax burden include:
Finally, don’t forget to watch our exclusive time-lapse video of state and local tax burdens over the last 65 years! See if your state has been above or below the national average?
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.