Have you ever taken a close look at your paycheck and wondered where a big chunk of your hard-earned money is going? Well, it turns out that living in the beautiful state of Washington comes with a hefty price tag, especially for the middle class. And no, it's not just your imagination; taxes are really taking a big bite out of our wallets.

According to a recent WalletHub study, as Business Insider reported, Washington ranks as the 5th state where middle-income earners pay the most in taxes. This might be a surprise, especially since Washington is one of the nine states without a state income tax. So, where's all that money going?

The devil is in the details, or in this case, in the sales and excise taxes. Middle-income folks in Washington are shelling out a whopping 8.72% of their income on these taxes alone – the highest rate in the country! That's right, we're leading the pack when it comes to sales and excise taxes, and not in a way that warrants a victory lap.

You might think, "Surely, that must be a mistake. No state income tax should mean lower overall taxes, right?" Unfortunately, that's not the case here. The absence of a state income tax is somewhat of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's great not having to file a state return every April. On the other hand, the state has to make up that revenue somehow, and it does so through higher sales and property taxes.

What does this mean for the middle-class residents of Washington? Simply put, we're feeling the pinch. Every time we buy something, a significant portion of our spending goes straight to taxes. It's like a never-ending cycle of tax payments, and it's particularly tough on middle-income earners who are already trying to balance mortgages, car payments, and the ever-increasing cost of living.

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