Free at last — from state’s tax burden

Posted 5/3/16

Tax Day may have fallen on April 18 this year, but Americans had to work until April 24, on average, just to pay their federal, state and local taxes for the year according to the Tax Foundation, which calculates Tax Freedom Day each year. But Californians will not see their Tax Freedom Day until tomorrow, April 30, as the Golden State has one of the largest tax burdens in the nation.

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Free at last — from state’s tax burden

Posted

Tax Day may have fallen on April 18 this year, but Americans had to work until April 24, on average, just to pay their federal, state and local taxes for the year according to the Tax Foundation, which calculates Tax Freedom Day each year. But Californians will not see their Tax Freedom Day until tomorrow, April 30, as the Golden State has one of the largest tax burdens in the nation.

It also has the most progressive income tax structure, with the top 1 percent of filers paying 45 percent of the state’s income taxes, and the top 20 percent, who earn at least $91,000, paying nearly 90 percent of the taxes, according to the Franchise Tax Board.

California tied with Minnesota for the 45th-latest Tax Freedom Day in the country. The only states to do worse were Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which has the longest wait, until May 12. Mississippi has the lowest tax burden, with Tax Freedom Day falling on April 5.

Incredibly, “Americans will collectively spend more on taxes in 2016 than they will on food, clothing and housing combined,” the Tax Foundation reports. For many citizens, the government that was established to protect life, liberty and property — but now is better known for its massive bureaucracy, waste, corruption, heavy-handed regulation, crony capitalism, expansive welfare state and military adventurism — is effectively eating them out of house and home.

“It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part of their time, to be employed in its service,” Benjamin Franklin wrote in “Poor Richard’s Almanack” in 1758. That would translate to a Tax Freedom Day of February 6th.We are now taxed nearly three times as much as the hypothetical “hard” government in Franklin’s era. According to the Tax Foundation, Americans will pay $3.3 trillion in federal taxes plus an additional $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes, equating to 31 percent of national income.

This gives one a sense of how far astray we have gone from the founders’ vision of a limited government that protects individual liberties — including the right to enjoy the fruits of our labor without paying a hefty tribute to a large, centralized government.

— The Orange County Register