$100 equals $100…true or false? Not so if you're spending it in different states, according to a new report from the Tax Foundation using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The non-profit organization adjusted the value of $100 in various parts of the country to account for different states' prices. Due to higher price tags for the same goods, this $100 buys less in expensive states than in states where items cost less.
For example, someone could take that $100 and buy $115.74 worth of goods in Mississippi—the biggest bargain state. Look no further than the Beltway for the priciest spot. A $100 bill in the District of Columbia will only buy $84.60 worth of items. In general, the Northeast is one of the priciest areas—along with Alaska, Hawaii and California. The Southeast and Midwest are on average less expensive. The data's tax policy consequences are especially important since taxes are based on nominal income, rather than adjusted purchasing power, it added. This means that a state's residents could be footing higher tax bills despite having lower purchasing power—essentially suffering one-two punches.