Nebraska state flag

Nebraska state flag

(The Center Square) – Nebraska taxpayers receive the ninth best return on their investment, according to a new study that ranks the 50 states.

To determine its rankings, personal finance website Wallethub evaluated each state's tax burden (local and state) and compared it to the quality of services taxpayers receive in five main categories: Education, Health, Safety, Economy, and Infrastructure & Pollution.

"Different states have dramatically different tax burdens. This begs the question of whether people in high-tax states receive superior government services," Wallethub managing editor John S. Kiernan writes. "Likewise, are low-tax states more efficient or do they receive low-quality services? In short, where do taxpayers get the most and least bang for their buck?"

While Nebraska residents pay the 26th highest local and state taxes among the 50 states, they receive the 12th best services, according to Wallethub.

"Nebraska taxpayers have the ninth highest ROI because they benefit from good quality government services, while paying average taxes – less than $4,000," Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez told The Center Square. "The state has the fifth lowest share of idle youth at 8%, ranks fourth in terms of the quality of public hospitals, and has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country – 4.2%. On top of this, Nebraska has high quality roads, short commutes, and the best water quality nationwide."

The study said New Hampshire taxpayers see the best return on their investment, followed by Florida, South Dakota and Virginia.

Taxpayers in Hawaii receive the worst return on their investment, followed by California and New Mexico.

​Dan McCaleb is the executive editor of The Center Square. He welcomes your comments. Contact Dan at

Executive Editor

Dan McCaleb is a veteran editor and has worked in journalism for more than 25 years. Most recently, McCaleb served as editorial director of Shaw Media and the top editor of the award-winning Northwest Herald in suburban Chicago.