From San Francisco Chronicle 7-21-10
…To get a fair assessment of which states are the most expensive for its residents, it's necessary to extract corporate taxes and anything else that's not paid for by individuals - after all, while Alaska may have one of the highest per capita revenues in the U.S., most of that money comes from severance taxes (taxes paid by energy companies to extract Alaska's natural resources), not from residents' bank accounts. When you distill the state's taxes down to the ones paid by individuals, Alaskans actually pay the least state taxes in the country.
So then, which states top off our list? Here's a glimpse at the top five tax collecting states, based on data from the first quarter of 2010.
The Aloha State may be renowned as one of the most beautiful states in the Union, but that beauty comes at significant cost: the average Hawaiian paid out $1,010 in state taxes in the first quarter of the year, the highest of any state. The two biggest components to the state's revenues were income and excise taxes.
Unlike many other states, Hawaii doesn't have a sales tax - instead, Hawaiians pay gross receipts (or excise) taxes on each of their purchases. That means that items like rent, medical bills and food are all taxable purchases in Hawaii, unlike other states with traditional sales tax. That also means that tax-exempt non-profits have to pay out Hawaii's excise tax regardless of their status in other states.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/07/21/investopedia45833.DTL#ixzz0uNu8gXy5