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We never really think of Louisville as having high taxes.

Apparently, we need to think again.

MarketWatch, the Wall Street Journal’s finance-only website, ranks Louisville as the city with the eighth highest taxes, compiled from a list of each state’s largest city.

Higher than New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. Only residents of Bridgeport, Conn., Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio pay more.

The MarketWatch post cites a report by the Office of Revenue Analysis in Washington, D.C.

(We called the ORA and verified it is part of the District of Columbia’s government, NOT the federal government, and the source of the report.)

ORA researchers reviewed the property, sales, auto and income taxes a family paid in 2011 in the largest city in each state.

The findings: Families in the nation’s largest cities pay 15 percent or more of their income in personal taxes not including what we pay to the IRS!

Not surprisingly, there’s a huge spread between America’s low-tax cities and high-tax cities due mostly to differences in sales taxes and property taxes.

A family of three earning $75,000 in Cheyenne, Wy., paid $2,808, or 3.7 percent of income, according to the post.

In Bridgeport, Conn., a family making $75k paid $16,105, or 21.5 percent of income for he privilege of living there.


So, where are we?

WAY closer to Bridgeport than Cheyenne, according to the post, mostly due to city income taxes:

 4. Louisville, Ky.

Taxes for family earning $25,000: $3,594 (8th highest)

Taxes for family earning $150,000: $18,008 (5th highest)

Unemployment rate: 7.9% (20th highest)

For a family of three that earned between $100,000 and $150,000, the average tax burden was 12%, higher than all but four other cities reviewed. The tax burden for people earning $25,000 to $50,000, although higher at 14.4%, is less of jump compared with most of the cities on this list. The 14.4% tax burden is the eighth highest out of all the cities measured. The biggest tax burden comes from income taxes.

But here’s the stunner:

“Depending on a family’s income, Louisville has either the second or third highest income tax among all cities measured.”

Just think about that the next time the city announces workforce and service cuts ….

The cities with the lowest tax rates were Cheyenne, Anchorage, Alaska and Houston.