Here’s some consolation for a taxing time of year
Tax season got you down? Weary taxpayers — not to mention their accountants — scaling mountains of paperwork piled high for the IRS can take at least some consolation from the latest results of an annual analysis of income and tax statistics. Coloradans will work two fewer days this year than last to earn enough money to pay their taxes.
Tax Freedom Day arrives in Colorado April 8. That’s the day the average taxpayer has earned sufficient income to pay local, state and national taxes for the year. The Tax Foundation — a nonprofit watchdog group in Washington, D.C. — calculates Tax Freedom Day not only for the symbolism involved, but also as a way to track tax burdens from year to year and state to state.
As is usually the case with such analysis, there’s good news and bad.
Tax Freedom Day comes earlier in Colorado than in many other states because Colorado levies comparably low tax rates. Moreover, constitutional limits on government spending and taxes have kept the tax burden low. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Tax Freedom Day also reflects income levels. The less income people earn, the less tax they pay under the progressive scheme. Consequently, Tax Freedom Day comes earlier in places with lower income levels. Mississippi, by the way, celebrated Tax Freedom Day on March 26, earlier than any other state. Tax Freedom Day will arrive last in Connecticut on May 2.
Nationwide, Tax Freedom Day arrives April 12 — three days later than 2010 mostly because incomes have increased as the economy has recovered.
Regardless of whether they live in Colorado, Mississippi or Connecticut, though, taxpayers face one, immutable truth. They’ll likely spend more on taxes than they will on groceries, clothing and shelter combined. Happy tax season.