These Are the 10 Most Tax-Friendly Cities in America, Study Finds

Find out if you live in one of the best cities for taxes.

The cost of living in a major city tends to be much higher, with parking, rent and even food being more expensive than in smaller cities. But there’s one other expense that can frequently be overlooked: taxes.

A recent study by GOBankingRates took a look at the 52 largest cities in America to determine which ones are the most tax-friendly to their residents and which ones have the heaviest overall tax burden.

The study scored state income tax rates, local income tax rates and how much annual property tax would be owed on a home that shares the median home value in that city. Combining those scores, GOBankingRates was able to compile a list of cities that are more affordable for taxes and determine which ones are more expensive.

The 10 most tax-friendly cities in the U.S. are:

1. Las Vegas
2. Nashville, Tenn.
3. Seattle
4. Jacksonville, Fla.
5. Tampa, Fla.
6. Miami
7. Memphis, Tenn.
8. Phoenix
9. Colorado Springs, Colo.
10. New Orleans

None of the seven cities with the lowest tax burden have any state income taxes, and all 13 of the cities in states without income tax finished on the top half of the list for not having excessive rates of taxation.

The same trend appears to be true when looking at local income tax rates as well. While there are only eight cities in the study that charge any income tax on top of state and federal rates, seven of them are among the top 10 of the least tax-friendly cities.

The largest Midwestern metropolises are also among the cities that are the least tax-friendly. Six of the 11 least tax-friendly cities are in the Midwest, including Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee and Cleveland. Detroit, despite having a median home price of just $44,500, is still the second-worst city for avoiding taxes. It has the highest property tax rate on the board at 2.815 percent.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for city life that won’t result in a lot of additional taxation, consider the Sunshine State. Florida has three cities — Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami — that ranked as the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-most tax-friendly cities in the country, respectively. Las Vegas, Nashville and Seattle ranked higher than the three Florida cities.

Here is the complete list of the most and least tax-friendly major cities, with No. 1 being the most tax-friendly:

1. Las Vegas
2. Nashville-Davidson, Tenn.
3. Seattle
4. Jacksonville, Fla.
5. Tampa, Fla.
6. Miami
7. Memphis, Tenn.
8. Phoenix
9. Colorado Springs, Colo.
10. New Orleans
11. Denver
12. Mesa, Ariz.
13. Tucson, Ariz.
14. Austin, Texas
15. Boston
16. San Antonio
17. El Paso, Texas
18. Albuquerque, N.M.
19. Dallas
20. Raleigh, N.C.
21. Oklahoma City
22. Virginia Beach, Va.
23. Houston
24. Tulsa, Okla.
25. Fort Worth, Texas
26. Fresno, Calif.
27. Charlotte, N.C.
28. St. Louis, Mo.
29. Wichita, Kan.
30. Atlanta
31. Washington, D.C.
32. Kansas City, Kan.
33. Los Angeles
34. Indianapolis
35. San Francisco
36. San Diego
37. Long Beach, Calif.
38. San Jose, Calif.
39. Minneapolis
40. Oakland, Calif.
41. Sacramento, Calif.
42. Chicago
43. Portland, Ore.
44. Louisville/Jefferson, Ky.
45. Omaha, Neb.
46. Philadelphia
47. Milwaukee
48. Cleveland
49. Columbus
50. Baltimore
51. Detroit
52. New York

Click through to see the most and least tax-friendly countries.

Methodology: The study reviewed the effective tax rates for residents in the 52 largest cities in America, scoring them on state and local income tax rates (for the median household income in that city), and the average property tax, before combining those scores to reveal which cities have tax structures that make it easier on residents and which ones make the cost of urban living that much worse. All tax rates were sourced from SmartAsset’s tax calculators.