Few people like paying taxes, but some have more reason to gripe about their tax burden than others. A study from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that the vast majority of state and local tax systems in the United States are inequitable and upside-down. In other words, state and local taxes take a much greater bite out of the income of low- and middle-income families than wealthy families. This is due in large part to the lack of a graduated personal income tax in many states, as well as an overreliance on consumption taxes such as retail sales taxes, excise taxes, and value-added taxes. One of the key takeaways of the study (which excludes elderly taxpayers) is that the tax structures in a staggering 45 states exacerbate income inequality. Cheapism took a closer look at the ITEP data, which was published in 2018, to identify which states in the country are best for middle-class taxpayers and which are worst.