Tax Day fell on April 18 this year, and we all know that day was the dreaded deadline for filing your taxes for the year. What you may not know is that there’s another tax day that’s important to note: Tax Freedom Day. Tax Freedom Day is the day when Floridians have collectively earned enough
money to pay their federal, state, and local tax bill for the year. That day is also this week, falling on Thursday, April 20. Thanks to a lower-than-average tax structure, our Tax Freedom Day in Florida falls three days earlier than the National Tax Freedom Day, which is Sunday, April 23.
If it sounds confusing, think of it this way: if you divided your annual income down to daily earnings, you would have to spend 110 days’ worth of earnings to pay your tax bill. That means almost four months of your hard-earned wages go towards your tax bill for the year. The extra three days of income Floridians get may not seem like much, but for a family with a household income of $50,000, that’s more than $400 per year.
With $400, you could buy six weeks of groceries, fill up your car 14 times, or purchase tickets to a Florida amusement park. Alternatively, you could add it to your child’s college fund or sock it away in your savings account. The point is, it’s your money to keep and use how you see fit.
Now, not all Tax Freedom Days fall before the national average. Some of Florida’s peer states, like California (May 1) and New York (May 11), fall weeks after. Imagine how much more of your income would go straight to taxes if you lived in a tax-and-spend state like those above, or even Connecticut, which falls latest this year on May 21.
Beyond our beautiful beaches and booming job market, lower taxes make it no surprise that Florida has skyrocketed to become the third largest state in the USA.
According to the Tax Foundation, which calculates this information, Americans as a whole will pay $3.5 trillion in federal taxes, plus another $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes. Those numbers are astronomical and collectively account for more than 30 percent of our nation’s revenue.
Many Americans wonder how all of that money is being spent, but here in Florida there’s no secret. Our
Transparency Florida website puts the particulars of the state’s budget, contracts and payments online to help consumers and voters hold their government accountable.
I firmly believe that transparency ensures accountability, and that Floridians have a right to see how their government spends their money. I’m proud to call Florida home, and I’m proud to have played a large part in making Florida’s financial information available for the world to see.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida