Friday, April 24, 2015

Happy Tax Freedom Day

Today is Tax Freedom Day. This is the day of the day of the year in which we in the United States have earned enough money to pay our collective tax bill. It will vary year to year depending on tax rates across the nation. According to Wikipedia, back in the year 2000 it was May 1st which, when you think about it, was fittingly appropriate. However, in 1900, it was a mere January 22nd.

The Tax Foundation notes that we will spend more on Federal, state, and local taxes that what we will spend on food, clothing, and shelter. They also had these key findings about the 2015 Tax Freedom Day.

  • This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 24, or 114 days into the year.
  • Americans will pay $3.3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.5 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of more than $4.8 trillion, or 31 percent of the nation’s income.
  • Tax Freedom Day is one day later than last year due mainly to the country’s continued steady economic growth, which is expected to boost tax revenue especially from the corporate, payroll, and individual income tax.
  • Americans will collectively spend more on taxes in 2015 than they will on food, clothing, and housing combined.
  • If you include annual federal borrowing, which represents future taxes owed, Tax Freedom Day would occur 14 days later on May 8.
  • Tax Freedom Day is a significant date for taxpayers and lawmakers because it represents how long Americans as a whole have to work in order to pay the nation’s tax burden.
The Tax Foundation has also calculated Tax Freedom Days by state. For example, here in North Carolina our Tax Freedom Day actually occurred on April 16th which puts us 19th in the nation. Our neighbors to the west and south, however, did much better. Tennessee was fourth (April 9), South Carolina was eighth (April 12), and Georgia was 15th (April 15). Virginia, by contrast, was 40th and won't celebrate their Tax Freedom Day until April 27th.

As this is also a gun blog, it is interesting to note that many of the worst states for gun rights - Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, California, Massachusetts, and Maryland - are respectively states 50 through 45 in the tax rankings. I know correlation isn't causation but it does appear to be a bit of a trend.

So as you go about the workday remember this as the day in which you finally get to keep the fruits of your labors. It is also the birthday of people who are as polar opposite as Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson (69) and Hillary and Bill's friend Barbra Streisand (73).

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