The TaxWatch Research Blog

The TaxWatch Research Blog is a forum where our research staff can address topics and issues in a short format. Keep an eye on this space during Legislative Session for frequent posts making sense of the activity at the Capitol. 

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2018 Taxpayer Independence Day

On Saturday, April 14, Saturday,April 14 Florida TaxWatch joins the taxpayers in our state in celebrating Florida Taxpayer Independence Day 2018. On that day, Floridians are finally earning money for themselves–not for the tax collector. This symbolic date assumes that every dollar earned since January 1 goes to pay federal, state, and local tax obligations. This measure of tax burden is based on the relative size of all taxes paid in Florida to our state’s total personal income. In 2018, for the average Florida household, paying its taxes takes 103 out of 365 days, or almost three and a half months.

It will take Floridians three fewer days to achieve taxpayer independence as it did last year, when the date was April 17. Florida’s economy is producing steady, but modest, growth in personal income, as well as state and local tax collections; however, the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which significantly reduced personal and corporate income taxes, is helping Floridians satisfy their tax obligations earlier this year. While the total taxes paid by Floridians is expected to grow by 1.8 percent in 2018, personal income should increase by 4.6 percent.

Taxpayer Independence Day for Floridians arrives eight days later than it did in 2009, when the Great Recession decimated government revenues. Despite the recent growth in tax revenue, tax independence still comes a week earlier than in 2006, the latest date for Taxpayer Independence Day in the last 20 years.

Historically, taxpayer independence comes sooner in Florida than for the average U.S. taxpayer, and this year is no exception. The Tax Foundation estimates that the national “Tax Freedom Day” will fall on April 19—five days later than Florida’s.

Evaluating Floridians’ tax burden on a daily basis (if working 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m), Floridians’ Taxpayer Independence Time falls at 11:17 a.m. daily. This symbolic time comes 12 minutes later than in 2009. Satisfying federal taxes alone requires one hour and 34 minutes of the eight-hour workday. Paying state taxes requires an additional 23 minutes, and 20 minutes is needed for local tax obligations. Overall, the average Floridian works 2 hours and 17 minutes every day of the year just to pay all their taxes, the single largest expense incurred by citizens—more than food, housing and clothing combined.

Florida will contribute $285 billion in taxes to federal, state and local governments in 2018, $7 billion more than last year.

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