February 29, 2020

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Lawrence County's tax burden among state's best
LAWRENCEVILLE - Lawrence County has one of the lowest tax burden's in the state of Illinois, according to a New York financial technology company.

According to its sixth annual "Study on Places with the Lowest Tax Burden," SmartAsset says Lawrence County has the sixth-lowest tax burden among the 102 counties in Illinois.

Data used to produce the study includes income tax, sales tax, property tax and fuel tax. The data is used to form a Tax Burden Index.

All counties, according to the study, pay income taxes of $11,220. Lawrence County's other factors are sales tax ($1,245), property tax ($985) and fuel tax ($172). That results in Lawrence County having a Tax Burden Index of 65.70.

Alexander County, in deep southern Illinois, leads the way with a TBI of 69.28. Also ahead of Lawrence County are Pulaski (69.27), Hardin (68.40), White (66.73), Pope (66.27) and Gallatin (66.11). All of those counties are also located in southeastern Illinois.

Just behind Lawrence County are two others nearby, Edwards (65.59) and Wayne (65.35).

Greene County, located in west-central Illinois, rounds out the top 10 with a TBI of 64.72.

"To better compare income tax burdens across counties, we used the national median household income," said company spokesman Alyssa Annunziato. "We then applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating federal, state and income taxes."

In order to determine sales tax burden, the company estimated that 35 percent of take-home (after-tax) pay is spent on taxable goods. Then, it multiplied the average sales tax rate for a county by the household income after taxes. The balance is then multiplied by 35 percent to estimate the sales tax paid. For property taxes, the company compare the median property taxes paid in each county.

For fuel taxes, the company distributed statewide vehicle miles traveled to the county level using the number of vehicles in each county. It then calculated the total number of licensed drivers within each county. The county-wide miles were distributed among the licensed drivers, which resulted in miles driven per licensed driver. Using the nationwide average fuel economy, the company calculated the average gallons of gas used per driver in each county and multiplied that by the fuel tax.

Finally, the dollar amount for income, sales, property and fuel taxes were totaled to calculate a total tax burden. Each county was ranked and indexed on a scale of 0 to 100. The county with the lowest tax burden received a score of 100 and the remaining counties in the study were scored based on how closely their tax burden compares.


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