Basel-Land Probably the Worst German-Speaking Canton for Taxes

Married with Kids? BL is OK if you have low income. By 200k, it is dead last of the German speaking cantons and only VD and NE are worse:

Single? Then it’s already last after 100k of income (GE, VD, NE worse if you include French parts):

And don’t get me started on Wealth taxes:

At 2 million BL is dead last including even all the French cantons which are normally the worst for taxes. What’s more galling is that neighbouring Solothurn is one of the best ranked. It’s not a surprise that BL is losing high tax payers to neighbouring cantons.

In summary: don’t come to Baselland: it sucks.



It made me look at the cantonal tax progression and I hadn’t appreciated how steep it was. The kink in the slope is around the 100k mark:

Thanks for the data. I’m in VD and since the beginning after moving to CH I wonder - why French-speaking cantons are so bad with taxes? Are they the masters in wasting money and need to collect much more than German ones? Or there are some historical reasons?

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My understanding is that they take a more redistributive stance, and the state often takes a bigger role. It’s part of the cultural/political differences which is also often visible with voting results.

Edit: and as to why, I think they’ve been much more influenced by revolutionary ideas maybe because many of them where ruled by the old confederacy cantons (eg Berne was controlling a lot) and got independence at the same time as feudal system got destroyed. While German speaking was often self governed by the local elite and favoring smaller government. They’re might also be cultural influence by France (historically having a strong state and redistribution).

I wouldn’t call it waste just different political stance (and let’s not debate politics please)

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That’s an interesting question!

Some (not all) French speaking ones pay more benefits such as Kinderzulage (see table below):

Again, here BL provides the minimum.

Perhaps it could be due to French-speaking parts generally having lower wages and therefore needing higher taxes to collect the same amount of tax per head?

And maybe just being more socialist overall and going for a tax and spend/tax and re-distribute policy?

I see, thanks, was not aware that there are such differences in terms of social payments. BTW - where are you taking the tables from? They are very useful :slight_smile:

On the other hand, Basel has one of the cheapest abos for public transport (800 CHF/y including some parts of France and Germany).

When I saw how crappy the tram system is here, I considered it bad value for money. I found it literally faster to walk than wait for the too infrequent trams. A far cry from the regular trams in the Zurich system.

Luckily, it is very fast and easy to get around by bike so relying on public transport is not necessary.

I was interested in the question of why taxes were higher in French speaking cantons some time ago. I found then a handful of articles concluding that while you can observe differences in spending, the difference is mostly explained by the income pool on which they can levy taxes being much smaller.


I suspect it is something of a viscious circle: smaller pool → need higher taxes → high earners leave/stay way → smaller tax pool → …

To some extend this is true, but some cantons in general do simply have higher taxes per resident, both from individuals and companies. A nice overview from AG showing this, there’s raw data on EFV, too

This data is too noisy if simple averages. If you think of the huge number of well paid people working in the banking industry in zurich, that might skew up the average quite a bit. Same for Pharma in BS.

Somehow this needs to be adjusted for income.

I live in AG. Looking at the stats it seems like a decent canton to live in, somewhere in the middle.


There are a lot of stats on the ESTV site, but I just googled for it. That one was from: “Arten und Ansätze der Familienzulagen nach dem FamZG, dem FLG und den
kantonalen Gesetzen 2021”

Am I the only one who thinks that 17% of the Bruttoeinkommen (at 200k) is not that much? That’s about 2 months of salary.

If it was just 17%, it wouldn’t be too bad. Unfortunately, the 17% is the married with 2 kids rate, which might be useful if one of the couple is not working. Otherwise it is just equivalent to 2x100k salaries.

For a single, the tax rate is closer to 26%. Adding in wealth tax on, say, 2M brings you up to 34%. Not terrible while working, but if you retire with say 40k taxable income, you still end up with a 34% tax rate which is when you will feel the pinch more.

3 cantons really stand out: GE, BS and VD.

Unfortunately for their residents, it is also where the basic health insurance hurts the most.

Wouldn’t you then qualify for the 6.92% income tax rate for a single person with a 40K gross income in BL, with the wealth tax to add on top?

Swisstaxcalculator also allows to generate very nice colour coded maps with different inputs: Steuerbelastungsstatistiken → geografischer Vergleich

All of Romandie is basically red for income and wealth tax (at least in the examples I chose) and nowhere to escape to from beautiful VD :wave: (if that makes you feel better)


So, as residents of high tax cantons, do you feel that your tax burden is compensated by e.g. better services, or more affordable housing, or healthcare, social contributions, etc.?