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10 least tax-friendly states in the U.S.

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Considering a move to another state? Not so fast. Be sure to weigh state taxes when calculating the difference in cost of living.

Here is our updated 2014 list of the ten least tax-friendly states. Our choices remain the same as last year. Almost all these states levy property taxes well above the national median of $1,324. State income taxes are high, as are combined state and local sales taxes that could cost you up to an additional 10% per purchase, depending the municipality in which you live or shop. Finally, some of these states have the highest gas prices in the U.S., in part because they charge above-average fuel taxes and fees.

SEE ALSO: 10 Most Tax-Friendly States in the U.S.

1. California

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Thomas Hawk via Creative Commons/Flickr

State income tax: 1%-13.3%
State sales tax: 7.5%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.53 per gallon (National average is $0.31)

The Golden State is home to movie stars, beautiful beaches, Silicon Valley... and the highest income tax rates in the U.S. Rates range from 1% on taxable income of up to $7,582 for individuals ($15,164 for married joint filers) to 13.3% for individuals or married couples with taxable income of more than $1 million.

California's state sales tax increased from 7.25% to 7.5% on Jan. 1, 2013. (The rate hike is scheduled to expire at the end of 2016.) Then there are local sales taxes in cities and counties with special taxing districts; in some cities, the combined rate is 10%. Food and prescription drugs are exempt.

California also imposes the highest gas taxes in the U.S as well as an annual vehicle license fee (VLF) of 0.65% of the purchase price of the vehicle (or the value when it was acquired) that's reduced each year for the first 11 years of car ownership. For example, the VLF on a two-year-old vehicle purchased for $25,000 would be $147.

There is a bit of (relative) relief: Californians pay lower property taxes than residents in other high-tax states. Under the homestead program, the first $7,000 of the full value of a homeowner's dwelling is exempt. But real estate is expensive. The median property tax on the state's median home value of $384,200 is $2,839, according to the Tax Foundation.

2. Connecticut

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James Lee via Creative Commons/Flickr

State income tax: 3%-6.7%
State sales tax: 6.35%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.49 per gallon

The Constitution State has the second-highest property taxes in the U.S. after New Jersey, according to the Tax Foundation. The median property tax on the state's median home value of $291,200 is $4,738.

The top income tax rate of 6.7% kicks in at $250,000 in taxable income for individuals and $500,000 for married couples.

There are no local sales taxes, but residents pay a state sales tax of 6.35% on most items. Luxury items, such as jewelry worth more than $5,000, are taxed at 7%.

The sales tax on vehicles valued at $50,000 or less is 6.35%; those over that amount are taxed at the 7% luxury rate. In addition, vehicles are subject to an stiff annual levy. The rate is set by individual municipalities. In Hartford, for example, the annual property levy for a vehicle valued at $17,000 would be $884.

3. New Jersey

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Chris Goldberg via Creative Commons/Flickr

State income tax: 1.4%- 8.97%
State sales tax: 7%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.15 per gallon

The Garden State's combined state and local tax burden is the second-highest in the nation, after New York. What's more, seven of the top ten counties with the highest median real estate taxes are in New Jersey, according to the Tax Foundation. The median property tax on the state's median home value of $348,300 is $6,579.

Income taxes range from 1.4% on the first $20,000 of taxable income to 8.97% on taxable income of more than $500,000.

Food, prescription and nonprescription drugs, clothing and footwear are exempt from the 7% state sales tax. A reduced rate of 3.5% is charged on certain sales occurring in designated Urban Enterprise Zones, such as Newark. But additional taxes and fees are imposed on certain items sold in Atlantic City and Cape May County.

One plus for commuters: Gas taxes are the second-lowest in the U.S. (Alaska's are the lowest.)

 SEE ALSO: 9 Costly Mistakes Taxpayers Make

4. New York

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Hu Totya via Creative Commons/Flickr

State income tax: 4%-8.82%
State sales tax: 4%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.49 per gallon (varies by county)

Residents of the Empire State shoulder the highest state and local tax burden in the U.S., according to the Tax Foundation.

Income tax rates range from 4% on up to $8,200 of taxable income for single filers and $16,450 for married couples filing jointly to 8.82% on taxable income of more than $1,029,250 for single filers and $2,058,550 for married couples filing jointly.

Food and prescription and nonprescription drugs are exempt from sales taxes, as are greens fees, health club memberships, and most arts and entertainment tickets. Local jurisdictions impose additional sales taxes ranging from 3% to 4.75%.

The median property tax on the state's median home value of $306,000 is $3,755, according to the Tax Foundation.Tax on cigarettes is $4.35 per pack, the highest in the U.S. New York City tacks on an additional $1.50 per pack.

5. Hawaii

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Erin Sweeney via Creative Commons/Flickr

State income tax: 1.4%-11%
State sales tax: 4%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.48 per gallon (varies by county)

The Aloha State is known for its high cost of living and high income tax rates are part of the reason. The top rate of 11% applies to taxable income of $300,000 for individual filers and $400,000 for married couples.

Prescription drugs are exempt from the state's 4% sales tax, but just about everything else is taxed, including services. Vehicles are subject to the state sales tax, even if they're purchased on the mainland. Residents also pay annual taxes on their vehicle's weight to both state and county.

There is one ray of sunshine: While property values are high, property taxes as a percentage of home value are low. The median property tax on the state's median home value of $517,600 is $1,324, according to the Tax Foundation.

6. Rhode Island

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Doug Kerr via Creative Commons/Flickr

State income tax: 3.75%-5.99%
State sales tax: 7%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.33 per gallon

In 2011, the Ocean State dropped its top income tax rate from 9.9% to 5.99%, but it's still far from a tax haven. The Tax Foundation says Rhode Island's median real estate taxes are the seventh-highest in the U.S. The median property tax on the state's median home value of $267,100 is $3,618.

Income tax rates range from 3.75% on up to $59,600 of taxable income to 5.99% on taxable income that exceeds $135,500.

Groceries, most clothing and footwear, and prescription drugs are exempt from the 7% state sales tax. Over-the-counter drugs, such as aspirin, are taxed unless you have a prescription. The tax also applies to the portion of any individual sale of clothing and footwear that exceeds $250. Sales tax on vehicles is 7%.

 SEE ALSO: Extraordinary Tax Deductions

7. Maine

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Jimmy Emerson, DVM via Creative Commons/Flickr

State income tax: 6.5%-7.95%
State sales tax: 5.5%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.32 per gallon

The Pine Tree State dropped its top state income tax rate from 8.5% to 7.95% in 2013. But that's still steep compared to other states, and it kicks in once taxable income exceeds just $20,900 for single filers or $41,850 for joint filers.

Maine is one of only a few states that prohibit local jurisdictions from imposing their own sales tax. Food for home consumption and prescription drugs are exempt from sales taxes; but prepared foods in restaurants are taxed at 8%.

Maine imposes an annual excise tax on vehicles that's based on the car's age and value. The owner of a three-year-old car with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $19,500 would pay $263.25.

The median property tax on the state's median home value of $177,500 is $1,936, according to the Tax Foundation.

8. Minnesota

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SusanLesch via Creative Commons/Flickr

State income tax: 5.35%-9.85%
State sales tax: 6.875%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.29 per gallon

The North Star State recently added a new top income tax rate for high earners. Tax rates range from 5.35% on taxable income of less than $24,680 for single filers and $36,080 for joint filers to 9.85% on taxable income of more than $152,540 for single filers and $254,241 for joint filers.

Food, clothing, and prescription and nonprescription drugs are exempt from the state sales tax. A few cities and counties add their own local sales tax. The sales tax for vehicles is 6.5%, slightly lower than the overall state sales tax, and vehicles are not subject to local sales taxes.

The median property tax on the state's median home value of $200,400 is $2,098, according to the Tax Foundation.

Minnesota offers some property-tax relief for qualified homeowners. Homeowners whose property taxes are high relative to their incomes are eligible for a property tax refund.

9. Vermont

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Adam Fagen via Creative Commons/Flickr

State income tax: 3.55%-8.95%
State sales tax: 6%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.33 per gallon

The Green Mountain State has a steep top income tax rate, and its property taxes are among the ten highest in the U.S., according to the Tax Foundation. And the median property tax on the state's median home value of $216,300 is $3,444, also high.

Income tax rates range from 3.55% on up to $36,900 of taxable income ($59,050 for married couples) to 8.95% on taxable income of more than $405,100 for singles and joint filers.

Food, clothing, and prescription and nonprescription drugs are exempt from the state sales tax. However, eating out will cost you: Restaurant meals are taxed at 9%; the tax on alcoholic beverages served in restaurants is 10%. Local jurisdictions may add up to 1% to all state sales taxes.

QUIZ: Is it Tax Deductible?

10. Illinois

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Wally Gobetz via Creative Commons/Flickr

State income tax: 5%
State sales tax: 6.25%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.39 per gallon

Sales taxes are steep in the Prairie State. In some municipalities, combined state and local sales taxes are as high as 10%. Qualifying food and prescription and nonprescription drugs are taxed at 1%, however. And the state income tax is a flat 5%.

The state's homestead exemption for owner-occupied residential property exempts up to $6,000 ($7,000 in Cook County) from a property's assessed value. Even then, though, the state has some of the highest property taxes in the U.S., according to the Tax Foundation. The median property tax on the state's median home value of $202,200 is $3,507.

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