If everyone paid a flat amount of taxes, one might look to per capita taxes paid as an indicator of how one state compares to others. However, since we pay different amounts of taxes, looking at it as a percentage of income makes a lot more sense. It also is a better indicator of how burdensome the taxes are in any given state. Take Nevada:
The bottom 20 percent of income earners pay about double the tax rate of the top 20 percent.
That according to a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The bottom 20% are paying 9 percent of their income to state and local taxes while the top earners are from 4.9 percent down to just 2.4 percent for the top 1 percent of income earners. ITEP concludes that the lack of an income based tax, and the comparably heavy reliance on sales and excise taxes is to blame for the inequity. The only progressive feature is that groceries are exempt from the sales tax.