La. third-most tax-friendly state

Louisiana is the third-most tax-friendly state in the nation, personal finance forecaster Kiplinger reported Monday.

In the Kiplinger-ranked order, the five most tax-friendly states were Delaware, Wyoming, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

The five least tax-friendly states were listed by Kiplinger as California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Hawaii.

Officials at Kiplinger, based in Washington, D.C., said their rankings were based on comparisons of rates for income, sales and gas taxes. Also considered were so-called “sin taxes” on products like alcohol and tobacco.

All states were shown on a Kiplinger map that described their varying degrees of tax friendliness.

“The Tax Map is a valuable tool for anyone considering a move, whether it’s cross-country or just over to the next state,” said Robert Long, managing editor at Kiplinger.com.

“It’s also important for (map) users to consider the potential trade-offs associated with varying taxation policies,” he said. “For example, states with lower tax revenues may not spend as much on critical services that residents might benefit from in other states.”

Last year, Kiplinger ranked Louisiana among the 10 states considered most tax-friendly for retirees.

Although state and local sales taxes can reach a combined total of 10.75 percent in some Louisiana cities, Kiplinger reported last year that the state’s property taxes are among the lowest in the nation. The forecaster noted property in Louisiana is assessed at 10 percent of its fair market value.

In addition, Kiplinger reported, a Louisiana homeowner who is 65 or older can freeze the assessed value of her or his homestead as long as her or his adjusted gross income remains below $65,891.

There is no inheritance tax or estate tax in Louisiana, Kiplinger noted. Social Security benefits are not taxed, either.

“Many of the states that consistently rank among the least tax-friendly for retirees are also the least tax-friendly across the board,” said Sandra Block, senior associate editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

“Our rankings and the Tax Map tool help users to make the most financially sound decision when considering an interstate move,” Block said.