Florida taxpayers have a reason to celebrate on Tuesday, April 22nd. The date marks Taxpayer Independence Day as estimated by Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog. April 22nd, 2014, is the first day in the calendar year that Florida taxpayers, on average, will begin earning income that does not go toward federal, state and local taxes.
"This symbolic day puts taxpayers' responsibility in perspective, showing us how much of a presence government, at different levels, has in our lives." said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch. "It has taken Florida taxpayers 111 days, or more than three and a half months, to finally stop paying off their 2014 tax burden."
This year's Taxpayer Independence Day is three days later than in 2013, and marks the third consecutive year that Taxpayer Independence Day has moved later in the year. The time to pay off a Floridian's tax burden is later in 2014 due to faster increasing federal taxes.
More than 70 percent of the average Floridian's tax burden is make up of Federal taxes, which are expected to increase by 9 percent in 2014, largely accounting for this year's later Taxpayer Independence Day.
According to the report, Floridians are expected to contribute more than $250 billion in taxes to federal, state and local governments in 2014, which is $18 billion in revenue above current collections. The tax increases are accompanied by an increase in average personal income, though taxes are expected to rise at a faster rate.
Based on average personal income, each Floridian will work 2 hours and 26 minutes per day to pay all of their owed taxes, meaning workers don't begin earning wages for other expenses until 11:26 a.m. This daily tax independence takes five minutes longer than in 2013. Taxes are the largest per-day expense - more than food, housing and clothing combined.
Despite a later Taxpayer Independence Day, the report does have good news: Floridian's buying power is also expected to increase in 2014, allowing the average household to spend 1 percent more this year.
"Floridians can use Taxpayer Independence Day to evaluate the cost of government, and ensure that our citizen responsibility to support our government is appropriately weighted against protecting our own personal and economic freedom," added Calabro.
Florida TaxWatch is a statewide, non-profit, non-partisan research institute that over its 33-year history has become widely recognized as the watchdog of citizens' hard-earned tax dollars. Its mission is to provide the citizens of Florida and public officials with high quality, independent research and education on government revenues, expenditures, taxation, public policies and programs and to increase the productivity and accountability of Florida state and local government. Its support comes from homeowners and retirees, small and large businesses, philanthropic foundations, and professional associations. On the web at www.FloridaTaxWatch.org.