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Itemized deductions may obfuscate which states are truly "most generous"--not taking into account standard deductions, volunteerism, gifts in kind.

"The Tax Foundation says the states making the highest percentage of charitable deductions are Maryland (40.1 percent), New Jersey (36 percent) and Connecticut (35.9 percent). Falling at the bottom are West Virginia (13.3 percent), South Dakota (14.9 percent) and North Dakota (15.3 percent). But such data would include only Americans who make itemized deductions. They wouldn’t include, for example, an apartment dweller who might make $50,000 per year, donate $5,000 to a church and be better off taking a standard deduction, said Ted Johnson, a partner at Parms & Co. in Columbus and a member of the Ohio Society of CPAs." -- JoAnne Viviano, the Columbus Dispatch

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