Colorado’s taxpayers get the fifth-best bang for their buck in the nation, according to a new report.

New Hampshire, South Dakota and Florida were named the top three states where taxpayers get the best return on their investment, while California, New Mexico and Hawaii came in last.

The report, “States with the Best and Worst Taxpayer ROI,” released last month by finance website WalletHub, compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 30 key metrics in five categories: education; health; safety; economy; and infrastructure and pollution. Data sets ranged from quality of school systems to roads and bridges to the percentage of residents living at or below the poverty line.

“Different states have dramatically different tax burdens. This begs the question of whether people in high-tax states receive superior government services,” the study stated. “Likewise, are low-tax states more efficient or do they receive low-quality services?”

Key results for being a taxpayer in Colorado include (1 = best, 25 =average):

  • 3rd – economy (median household income; annual job-growth rate; economic mobility)
  • 4th – health services (hospital beds per 1,000 residents; average health-insurance premiums; quality of public hospitals)
  • 5th – best water quality
  • 14th – total taxes paid per capita
  • 16th – overall government services rank
  • 30th – safety rank (violent-crime rate per capita; property-crime rate per capita; fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled)
  • 33rd – education (quality of public university system; quality of school system; public high school graduation rate)

Among Colorado’s neighboring states, Nebraska ranks 9th, Wyoming is 10th, Utah is 11th, Oklahoma is 18th, Arizona is 23rd, Kansas is 28th, and New Mexico comes in at No. 49.

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For the full report, see