published Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Slaving away for the tax man

When you see the taxes taken out of your paycheck, do you feel like you're working for the government? Well, you should.

Tax Freedom Day, the day when the average American has earned enough money to pay all the federal, state and local taxes he or she owes to the government, falls on April 18 this year. That means the typical worker will spend 107 days working for the government in 2013.

The Tax Foundation, a D.C.-based think tank that publishes the annual Tax Freedom Day study, found that Tax Freedom Day comes five days later this year than in 2012, due "mainly to the fiscal cliff deal that raised federal taxes on individual income and payroll. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act's investment tax and excise tax went into effect."

"In 2013, Americans will pay $2.76 trillion in federal taxes and $1.45 trillion in state taxes, for a total tax bill of $4.22 trillion, or 29.4 percent of income," according to the Tax Foundation's website.

For Times Free Press readers, the news is a little better. That's because the states in this area, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and, especially, Tennessee, have lower state and local tax burdens, driving our personal Tax Freedom Days earlier than most of the rest of the country.

Last year, thanks to the state's lack of income tax and lawmakers' efforts to reduce a number of taxes, Tennesseans had the earliest Tax Freedom Day in the entire country, March 31. This year, Tennessee's Tax Freedom Day came last Tuesday, April 2. The Volunteer State finished with the third-earliest Tax Freedom Day in 2013. Only Louisiana and Mississippi residents paid less in taxes.

Tennesseans are, at long last, done paying for government and now get to pocket their hard-earned money for the rest of the year.

Alabama isn't far behind Tennessee. With a Tax Freedom Day that came two days ago, on April 5th, Alabama has the nation's seventh-earliest Tax Freedom Day.

Georgians and North Carolinians will stop working to pay taxes and start working for themselves and their families this week. Tax Freedom Day comes on April 9 in Georgia and April 10 in North Carolina.

While Georgia and North Carolina residents have to work more than a week longer than Tennesseans to pay their tax burdens, things could be worse. In Connecticut, the most highly taxed state in America, Tax Freedom Day doesn't come until the middle of next month -- May 13.

Just because our Tax Freedom Days are early relative to the rest of the country, there's little reason to celebrate.

Tax Freedom Day has been later every year since 2009, meaning Americans' tax burdens have grown each year under President Obama. Further, Tax Freedom Day only takes taxes into account, not spending. With the federal government running deficit of nearly $1 trillion again this year, Tax Freedom Day would occur on May 9 if the study included this year's federal borrowing, which represents future taxes.

In 1900, Americans paid only 5.9 percent of their income in taxes, meaning Tax Freedom Day came on January 22. This year, with Tax Freedom Day falling on April 18, the average American will pay out a suffocating 29.4 percent of their income in taxes.

Every taxpayer in America should be outraged that all levels of government have grown so large that we each work more than three months each year before we ever get to keep a dime for ourselves and our families.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
nucanuck said...

The Libertarian government in Somalia doesn't have taxes. Canada where I live has far more taxes than the US. Sweden's taxes are higher still and they are among the best governed countries in the world.

The point is not how much you pay in taxes, but rather how good is the quality of life for the taxes you pay. Happiness indexes indicate that high tax countries tend to be the happiest places to live.

April 7, 2013 at 2:21 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

And Canadians with all those taxes still can't afford the medical care they need, so tens of thousands visit the US to buy what they can't buy at home? The job of government here is to protect freedom, not to shuffle money from one pocket to another. Hong Kong got rich with low taxes and small government, and now Red China is copying Hong Kong. Chairman Mao, kowtow to Queen Victoria. King Jesus is rather libertarian, and you know what He did for health care. (An amazing percentage of 3rd world hospitals were started by Christians, not by governments.)

April 7, 2013 at 4:05 a.m.
LibDem said...

Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi? Does it even occur to you that being too poor to pay taxes isn't freedom?

April 7, 2013 at 8:50 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Of course, anyone who can drives across the state line from TN to buy groceries to avoid paying the 9% tax on food.

Andrew, a large number of hospitals are started by Christians because the western world is primarily Christian and churches had more money than most other organizations. As far as health care, yes, waits for some types of care in Canada are longer than in the US, but 30 million uninsured in The US is not something to be proud of. Now the addition of these 30 million has revealed that the health care system in the country is not "big" enough to accept them. This is touted as a "negative" of the health care act, when it should be held up as evidence that a large number of our population until now had no access at all.

April 7, 2013 at 9:42 a.m.
conservative said...

With almost half of Americans paying no federal income tax plus getting freebies such as Medicaid, food stamps,welfare, subsidized housing, free school lunches etc., maybe someone will notice and require some of their skin in the game or cut back on some of their gifts to ease the burden on the backs of taxpayers who are carrying them.

April 7, 2013 at 3:06 p.m.
Easy123 said...


The programs you mentioned aren't gifts. Taxpayers are not carrying anyone. Very little of every tax dollar goes to the programs you mentioned. They are safety net programs. They will always be there. They are completely necessary. The majority of the people receiving those benefits are the working poor, children, disabled, and the elderly. You know, those people your "savior" told you to help out. You're really bad at this whole "Christian" thing.

Why don't you mention the military spending? That is a much bigger slice of the tax payer pie than any of the programs you mentioned. I guess you don't mind being burdened with wars and killing innocent civilians. Such a good little WingNut!

April 7, 2013 at 3:22 p.m.
jjmez said...

conservative said... With almost half of Americans paying no federal income tax plus getting freebies such as Medicaid, food stamps,welfare, subsidized housing, free school lunches etc.,

The vast majority of the those individuals actually do work and pay federal income tax. However, they're wages are so low and cost of living so high that they still qualify for help.

Conservative is confusing the poor with the very rich, who actually don't pay taxes due to so many loopholes and subsidies. Leona Helmsley was right when she said to the effect, " We (as in the rich) don't pay taxes. Only the poor pay taxes."

April 7, 2013 at 5:20 p.m.
Plato said...

The fiscal cliff deal did NOT "raise federal taxes on individual income and payroll" It simply allowed the temporary payroll tax holiday, enacted by Obama by the way, to expire. The payroll tax holiday was never intended to be permanent, it was a temporary measure to spike the economy. The payroll tax rates in effect today are the same as when G W Bush left office.

April 8, 2013 at 10:53 a.m.
Handleit said...

I feed and clothe my own family before I help my neighbor. All the money being sent to foreign counries would go a long way to help solve problems in this country. Nearly every day we hear politicians talk about reducing spending in this country by cutting programs that are needed by the young, old, and sickly. Why don't we hear them say they are going to stop sending money to other countries until we can afford it? Why, because most of the politicians in this country are bought and paid for. Not by John Public but by rich companies.

April 8, 2013 at 12:38 p.m.
logic said...

We are not working for the government. We are part of a society. Next time you drive down a paved road, put your child on a school bus, use an airport, drink water from your tap, turn on a light switch, take a prescription drug you know is safe due to the FDA, see your grandparents cash their social security check, breathe clean air, go to a national park, see a murderer locked up in prison, or go to sleep knowing we have a solid strong military that affords you to have freedom, etc...that is brought to you by our imperfect government. We are all in this together. This is how society works. Is it perfect? No. Can we as a people demand improvements? Yes. But I would be willing to bet that you benefit from it too. We all do.

April 9, 2013 at 1:17 p.m.
shen said...

logic, your post is too logical for some of these individuals to grasp.

April 9, 2013 at 4:48 p.m.
Easy123 said...



April 9, 2013 at 7:38 p.m.
chet123 said...

working class are slave to inflation and cheap wages....

A wealthy cash flow can remedy taxes.....

It worked in the past......

ONLY THE RICH AND GREEDY CRY ABOUT TAXES....MAYBE because taxes cut into their 3 mistresses up keep

April 20, 2013 at 2:34 p.m.
chet123 said...


May 26, 2013 at 12:35 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.