Every year, the Tax Foundation in Washington calculates just how many days the average American has to work in order to pay off all tax bills. The figure assumes that every penny you earn beginning Jan. 1 goes toward taxes.
This year’s calculations were released this week. The good news is Tax Freedom Day is April 12 this year, which is three days earlier than last year and almost two weeks earlier than 2007. The bad news is that, if you added in how long it would take to pay off this year’s federal budget deficit, we would keep working for Uncle Sam until May 23. In truth, we do have to pay that bill, one way or another.
The other bad news is that one of the reasons our taxes get paid sooner now is because we have less income than we did a few years ago.
The calculations figure in everything, including state and local taxes. So Utah’s Freedom Day will be April 10, which ranks 19th among states. Connecticut is the latest (May 2), and Mississippi is the earliest (March 26).
How much of a tax burden will you tolerate? It seems as if April is about the range beyond which government dares not tread. Tax Freedom Day has hovered in that month since 1951.
Interestingly, however, it was Jan 22 in 1900, and it didn’t hit February until the government needed to fund World War I. Then it never returned to its previous levels, moving into March during the Depression.
That kind of puts the notion of government needing to raise taxes as a temporary emergency measure in perspective, doesn’t it?