Sunday is Tax Freedom Day

How does this year’s date stack up against previous days of liberation?

National Tax Freedom Day is this Sunday—marking the day that the average American will have finished making good on this year’s tax bill.

It will be a good day for workers like Larry Schubarth, who feel grateful for having a job but for whom paying taxes is not a “favorite thing.”

“I know about a third of what I make goes into taxes, it seems like,” Schubarth said. “We have a pretty close budget, so there’s not a whole lot extra.”

While each state has its own Tax Freedom Day, April 17 is the national average based on the state dates, according to Scott Hodges of the Tax Foundation.

“This year is two days later than last year,” Hodges said, “but it’s fully two weeks earlier than when National Tax Freedom Day reached its worst date ever, and that was on May 3 in the year 2000.”

The earlier the date, the greater the indication that the average American is carrying a smaller tax burden.

“It’s trending back up, I think, just because there don’t seem to be any tax cuts on the horizon,” Hodges said. “The tax burden is going to continue to grow.”

As for the state-by-state numbers, Connecticut has the latest Tax Freedom Day at May 3, while Alaska has the earliest—April 2. On average, Americans will work 65 days for housing, 52 days for medical care and 31 days for both food and transportation.

Chris Kinnan of the group Freedom Works said there are three things Congress could do to make Tax Freedom Day even earlier: 1) cut spending; 2) make permanent tax cuts; and 3) revamp the IRS.

“A lot of the problem is the tax code’s complexity,” Kinnan said. “The IRS is burdened with administering a tax code that absolutely doesn’t make sense. It’s not rational, it’s not understandable. It’s over 60,000 pages.”

President Bush has convened a blue ribbon commission to study possible Internal Revenue Service reforms. Their report is due later this year.

The Tax Foundation’s Web site explains Tax Freedom Day and how it is calculated.

(NOTE: Referral to Web sites not produced by Focus on the Family is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement of the sites’ contents.)

Support this effort to promote the family in the public policy arena.

You can receive family news stories by e-mail. Sign up now for this complimentary service.