Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Photo Galleries
Most valuable car collection ever auctioned In total, the 'Pinnacle Portfolio' is the most valuable group of cars from one collection ever sold in a single auction. More
This is how far robots have come since the 1930s Are robots catching up to humans? Yes. Should we be scared? Find out! More
The median home price is $236,000. Here's what that buys you The median home price climbed to $236,400 in June, according to the National Association of Realtors. Here's what that will buy you across the United States. More
Special Offer
5 of 7
BACK NEXT
Washington
Washington
Taxes: No personal income tax, but a gross-receipts tax on all business income
Best Places to Live and Launch: Bellevue (No. 1), Bellingham (No. 27), Olympia (No. 40), Spokane (No. 77)

Home of Microsoft, Amazon and Boeing, Washington is a high-tech state. Primary industries include software development, biotech, aviation and electronics. The state also has a robust agricultural environment: Washington is the No. 1 U.S. producer of apples, pears, sweet cherries and red raspberries. While residents enjoy the benefits of paying no income tax, businesses don't get off so easily: The state has some of the highest excise taxes in the nation on goods such as gasoline, cigarettes and alcohol; gasoline and diesel are taxed 34 cents per gallon.

On average, residents of Bellevue earn almost twice the U.S. median income; the city is rapidly growing and features a number of software development companies as well as a robust service sector. Picturesque Bellingham offers leisure activities like hiking and boating, plus jobs in aviation manufacturing, oil refining, health care and telecommunications. The state capital, Olympia, features a marine port and a commercial airport; the city also has a healthy professional-services sector and growing life-sciences industry. Spokane, Washington's second-largest city, features a diverse blend of high-tech fields like biosciences as well as agriculture, forestry and manufacturing. The Spokane River bisects the city; residents and visitors enjoy outdoor recreation such as kayaking, rock climbing and hiking through the region's nearby mountains.

NEXT: New Hampshire

Last updated March 27 2008: 10:09 AM ET