It’s tax day and, for many people, that means sending a big check to Uncle Sam. Where are the checks biggest? A new map from the Brookings Institute can tell you. It shows the average income taxes paid in each county in the United States. Coming in at number one is Teton County in Wyoming with average federal taxes of more than $66,000. Here’s the full map:
Of course, counties with higher incomes are going to pay more in taxes (and most people deem that fair). Brookings also has a map of the highest income taxes paid as a percentage of average income. Once again, Teton County takes the top spot at nearly 20 percent. Here’s that full map as well:
A word of caution: Even these graphs do not tell us that much about the richest and poorest counties. First, it only includes families that filed a federal income tax return. Those without income won't be included here. The data is also from 2007, as that is the most recently available IRS data. That's before the Great Recession, so things could look very different right now. You'll also notice that the richest counties are generally clustered around large cities, likely the result of cities having higher incomes. But along with those higher incomes comes a higher cost-of-living. Nevertheless, these maps are still a good representation for how much incomes can vary across the country. You can check out the full interactive versions (and more) at Brookings.
Danny Vinik is a staff writer at The New Republic.