Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

April 3, 2013

Tax Freedom

It’s been arriving later each year and will get worse

Pardon our sarcasm, but is it any surprise that Tax Freedom Day — when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for the year — is five days later than it was in 2012?

According to The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research organization that has monitored fiscal policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937, tax freedom will be reached this year on April 18, the 108th day of 2013.

The organization calculates tax indebtedness by dividing all federal, state and local taxes by the nation’s income. In 2013, Americans will pay $2.76 trillion in federal taxes and $1.45 trillion in state taxes, for a total tax bill of $4.22 trillion, or 29.4 percent of income. April 18 is 29.4 percent, or 108 days, into the year.

Tax Freedom Day arrives at different dates in the various states, depending on state tax policies. In Pennsylvania, it will arrive on April 17, in West Virginia on April 19 and in Maryland on April 21.

The foundation said five major categories of taxes dominate the tax burden. Individual income taxes — including federal, state and local — require 40 days of work. Payroll taxes take another 24 days of work. Sales and excise taxes, mostly state and local, take 15 days to pay off. Property taxes take 12 days, and corporate income taxes take another 9.

For more information about the foundation and Tax Freedom Day, visit the website http://www.taxfreedomday.org.

It’s sad that Americans have to work nearly five full months out of every year just to pay their collective federal, state and local taxes.

Unfortunately, it is likely to get worse — not better — in the years ahead.

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