OLYMPIA -- State and local taxes as a percentage of personal income dropped to their lowest level in a half-century in fiscal 2009, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Taxes dropped to $93.24 per $1,000 personal income from $105.49 in fiscal 2008.
Washington's decline was steep enough to change its national ranking to 35th lowest in tax burden among the states in 2009 from 30th lowest in 2008.
The national average for Fiscal Year 2009 was $102.10, down from $111.99 the prior year.
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The $93.24 figure, comprising $56.70 in state taxes and $36.54 in local taxes, is the lowest since the state Department of Revenue began tracking this statistic in 1960. Then, the rate was the second lowest at $98.43.
State and local taxes as a percentage of personal income peaked in 1972 at $128.26 per $1,000 in 1972 and ranged from about $112 to $118 during most years between 1960 and 2000, except for during years of high inflation in the 1970s and during the recession of the early 1980s.
For the past 10 years, the figure has ranged from $105 to $110.