Paul L. Caron

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Today Is Tax Freedom Day — Earlier In MS, TN & LA, Later In CT, NJ & NY

Tax Foundation logoTax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day 2016 is April 24:

  • This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 24, or 114 days into the year (excluding Leap Day).
  • Americans will pay $3.3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of almost $5.0 trillion, or 31 percent of the nation’s income.
  • Tax Freedom Day is one day earlier than last year, due to slightly lower federal tax collections as a proportion of the economy.
  • Americans will collectively spend more on taxes in 2016 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 16 days later, on May 10.
  • 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.

Tax Freedom Day

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Tax Foundation Figures Do Not Represent Typical Households’ Tax Burdens; Figures May Mislead Policymakers, Journalists, and the Public:

The Tax Foundation released its annual “Tax Freedom Day” report today that, once again, can leave a strikingly misleading impression of tax burdens — showing an average federal tax rate across the United States that’s likely higher than the tax rate that 80 percent of U.S. households actually pay. ...

The Tax Freedom Day concept also suffers from a deeper flaw.  It suggests that the year can be divided into days that Americans spend working to pay federal, state, and local taxes and days they spend working for themselves so they can pay for goods such as food, clothing, housing, transportation, and medical care.  Yet taxpayers derive substantial benefits from the taxes that they pay. ...

Of course, there are important debates to be had about the appropriate size of government.  But the Tax Foundation’s implication that Americans derive no benefit whatsoever from the goods and services that government provides does not further those debates.  Rather, these debates require careful consideration of the merits of trading public for private goods and services, recognizing that both can generate value for American households. 

Tax Foundation, CBPP: US Tax System is Progressive; High-Earners Pay A Lot:

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has just released their annual "refutation" of Tax Freedom Day, and their associated state groups will be forwarding it along shortly. We respond to their criticisms here.

Tax, Think Tank Reports | Permalink


Milton Freidman said the true tax is govt spnding, not collections, and the correct denominator is income not GDP. Using those #s the tax rate is closer to 65%! Here's more detail:

Posted by: Ron Reich | Apr 24, 2016 9:25:43 AM

I think NY, NJ and CT are close to Christmas than New year's.

Posted by: Yehiel | Apr 24, 2016 11:42:28 AM