The stimulus bill’s three biggest tax breaks for individuals add up to more than $200 billion and consume the lion’s share of the tax side. They are the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) reduction, the expanded child tax credit and President Obama’s campaign-pledged "Making Work Pay" credit.
A household’s earnings are the main factor in determining how much – if any – a given individual will gain through these tax cuts, but income isn’t distributed evenly around the country. With help from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy’s data on the state-by-state impact of the cuts, we crunched the numbers to find out where the tax benefits are going.
Regions where incomes are high, like the Northeast, have much more to gain from the nearly $70 billion AMT reduction, which will keep some middle-class households (for instance, couples earning around $70,000 in 2009) from paying higher taxes next year. Meanwhile, a change to eligibility for the child tax credit – a cut that registers a mere $14 billion nationwide – brings a disproportionate bounty to the South, especially the Gulf Coast. Overall, the three breaks bring the deepest cuts to the northeastern states, Wyoming and Minnesota.
Take a look at our map here to see where each of the top breaks makes the biggest splash.