Getting Your Money's Worth
You know that your taxes fund federal, state, and local government programs and services, but you may not be so clear on what your money is actually buying. Taxpayer return on investment, or ROI, varies geographically, and Texans seem to be getting quite a bit for their money.
WalletHub used 23 metrics to compare the quality and efficiency of state-government services across five distinct categories — education, health, safety, economy, and infrastructure and pollution — taking into account the drastically different rates at which citizens are taxed in each state.
Overall, Texas comes in at No. 9 for the best ROI. (That's good news considering we rank 12th for most taxes paid per capita.) Our economy is our highest rank (11th), and that takes into account median annual household income, annual job growth rate, economic mobility, the under- and unemployment rates, and share of residents who live below the poverty line.
Texas education (quality of public schools and universities) is a respectable No. 16, but our safety rank is all the way down at No. 41. Health (No. 27) and infrastructure and pollution (No. 38) aren't much better, but WalletHub discovered one fact that's definitely on our side: Red states (like Texas) tend to give taxpayers a better ROI than blue states.
New Hampshire residents see the highest ROI on their tax money, while Hawaii and North Dakota bring up the rear with less-than-stellar bang for their government buck.