Taxpayer Independence Day 2019
On Sunday, April 14, Florida TaxWatch joins the taxpayers in our state in celebrating Florida Taxpayer Independence Day 2019. 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 2019—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 one more day to achieve taxpayer independence as it did last year, when the date was April 13.1 Florida’s economy is showing steady, modest growth and that—along with rebounding property values—are boosting state and local tax collections. While the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act helped reduce tax burdens last year, federal collections are on the rise again in 2019. This all caused the total taxes paid by Floridians to grow by an estimated 5.3 percent in 2019—growth which outpaced the rise in Floridians’ personal income of 4.4 percent. Consequently, it will take the average Florida household one more day than last year to earn enough to satisfy their tax obligations.
Taxpayer Independence Day (TID) for Floridians arrives nine days later than it did in 2009, when the Great Recession decimated government revenues. Despite the growth in tax revenue since the recession, tax independence still comes six days earlier than in 2006, the latest date for TID in the last 20 years.
Historically, taxpayer independence comes sooner in Florida than for the average U.S. taxpayer, and this year should be no exception. The Tax Foundation estimates that the national “Tax Freedom Day” for 2019 is April 16—three 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 11:16 a.m. daily. This symbolic time comes 2 minutes later than in 2018. Satisfying federal taxes alone requires one hour and 33 minutes of the eight-hour workday. Paying state taxes requires an additional 22 minutes, and 20 minutes is needed for local tax obligations. Overall, the average Floridian works 2 hours and 15 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.2
Florida will contribute $301 billion in taxes to federal, state and local governments in 2019, $15 billion (5.3 percent) more than last year.