While you are finishing up filing your taxes take a moment to celebrate. Yes, celebrate. For today is Tax Freedom Day! That joyous occasion when the average American worker has finally put in enough hours to pay Uncle Sam’s tax bill.
This year it took 107 days for most families to pay their share, about 29.22% of income for all federal, state and local taxes. That is four more days than last year, primarily due to higher federal corporate and personal income taxes. Americans will also fork over more to the tax man than they spend on food, clothing and housing combined. Tax Foundation, who compiles the Tax Freedom Day numbers, adds the situation could be worse. If you count the $1.014 trillion deficit, Americans would have to work until May 14th before the government is paid for. As it is, residents in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut will have to wait until at least May 1. You can check out the entire state-by-state breakdown here.
Of course, the hard work of taxpayers did not go unappreciated; Dan Bucks, head of Montana’s Department of Revenue said, “Montana taxpayers have made this a great tax season.” Hear that? It has been a great tax season! Unemployment above 8 percent, the highest corporate income tax in the world, and sluggish growth? Truly a “great” season.
What would make the season “great” in my mind is to move Tax Freedom Day up on the calendar. However, unless we rein in government spending, Tax Freedom Day will continue to fall later and later in the year. Spending pressure from entitlement programs and Obamacare is set to explode over the next ten years posing an increasing threat to taxpayers.
Now is the time to celebrate. After four straight years of trillion dollar deficits and looming tax hikes in December you may not have much time left before the tax collector exacts an even higher toll.
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