Most people (and tax experts) focus on the federal income tax, Social Security and Medicare taxes. This makes sense because they are the largest taxes most people pay. However, you should never ignore your state taxes. Although state income tax rates are lower than federal tax rates, they can still add up. Moreover, unlike federal taxes -- which are the same in every state -- state taxes vary widely from state to state. For example, seven states don't have any income taxes (Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming). State budgets have been hurting since the recession began in 2008. As a result, states have increased their taxes in recent years -- they increased by $6.2 billion in 2011 alone. However, the trend for 2012 has been to reduce state taxes in an effort to spur business growth. According to a report by the National Governors Association and National Association of State Budget Officers, states have put in place a net decrease of $5...
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