Number of the Day: 49

April 6, 2011 | Number of The Day

If we didn’t have to pay federal taxes, which states would benefit most? New Jersey, for one, since it ranks 49 out of 51 states and the District of Columbia as places that “sponge tax dollars” — or take more from the federal government than they give back, according to a ranking by the website the Daily Beast.

Only Delaware and Minnesota did worse. Mississippi, West Virginia, D.C. itself and Hawaii were the top five states that benefited most from federal government funding.

The Daily Beast derived the rankings by looking at data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service for three years (2007-2009), years in which federal funding to states increased due to the recession. New Jersey received only $0.62 for each federal dollar it paid in taxes. (For those three years, New Jerseyans paid $115.92 billion in taxes and received $71.53 billion in return.) This actually reflected an increase in federal funding of 44 percent.

Of our neighboring states, only Pennsylvania derives more from the federal government than it sends. Pennsylvania, which ranked 32 on the list, gets $1.12 for every dollar in taxes. New York ranked 46, getting $.79 for each dollar.