Personal Finance

Five best and worst states for return on your taxes


Best and worst tax ROI

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With Tax Day looming for all, residents of some states will receive a much better bang for their buck when it comes to taxes than those in other states.

A recent survey by ranked states by taxpayer return on investment (ROI) based on the quality and efficiency of state government services. To make this determination, the survey looked at categories such as education, health, safety, economy, infrastructure and pollution in a given state.

"The results are interesting because a lot of taxpayers are able to see roads and bridges being built because they are so tangible," said Jill Gonzalez, a spokeswoman. "But the other categories, like education, are also important, but less evident."

Wondering if your state is among the best or worst at putting hard-earned tax dollars to good use? Click ahead to find out.

— By CNBC's Krysia Lenzo
Posted 6 April 2016.

Best states: No. 5. Florida

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The Sunshine State did well across WalletHub's various measures with its high quality of education and infrastructure. Specifically, Florida came in third for having bridges and roads in good condition.

Best states: No. 4. Virginia

Richmond Virginia and Manchester bridge
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Virginia made the top 10 for water quality and education. The state's overall ranking was also helped by its low crime rate per capita.

Best states: No. 3.Colorado

Downtown Denver Colorado
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The Centennial State's high-quality health care contributed to its spot in the top five. Colorado's public hospital system received especially good marks for the care it provides.

Best states: No. 2. South Dakota

South Dakota Capitol Building in Pierre
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South Dakota's quality of health care helped the Mount Rushmore State make the top 10. The state came in first for having the most number of hospital beds per 1,000 residents, a key component that went into WalletHub's health-care ranking.

Best states: No. 1. New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire
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New Hampshire did well on many of the measures used to determine taxpayer ROI.

"New Hampshire has a good balance of generating a lot of money for its public university system and its kindergarten to 12th-grade schools," said Gonzalez. "The state is using its taxpayer dollars in this category very effectively."

Worst states: No. 5. Delaware

Dover, Delaware
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Delaware was one of the overall worst states when it comes to education, according to The First State also wasn't helped by its low health-care ranking and crime rate.

Worst states: No. 4. New York

Times Square at night, New York City, NY
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The Empire State came in last in terms of quality of infrastructure and pollution. New York also did not rank highly for its education system.

"In New York, a spotlight is shown on the state every year for its fine education system, but this year's data seemed to prove otherwise," said Gonzalez.

Worst states: No. 3. Hawaii

Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
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Hawaii has a fairly low ranking for its local economy, which pushed the state into's bottom five list.

"Hawaii at times has struggled in terms of its very high sales tax," said Gonzalez. "The state also struggles with keeping taxpayer dollars within the state."

Worst states: No. 2. Alaska

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According to, Alaska has the highest violent-crime rate per 1,000 residents, 6.36, which is six times higher than in Vermont, the state with the lowest rate, 0.99. The Last Frontier State also received low marks on education and health care.

Worst states: No. 1. North Dakota

Bismarck, North Dakota
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With the lowest ranking on the list, North Dakota residents are not seeing their tax dollars getting put to work efficiently, especially in the education category.

"If you take education, North Dakota's public system ranks the lowest on the list. A lot of money is being pushed to one end of the education spectrum," said Gonzalez. "They are really not looking into their higher education spending as much as they should be."

How did your state rank? Here's's complete list.