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Taxpayer Independence Day 2020

Floridians’ tax burden is going to decrease but so is our ability to pay for it

Every year, right around the usual April 15 deadline to pay your federal taxes, Florida TaxWatch releases our Taxpayer Independence Day report. This marks the symbolic date that Floridians are finally earning money for themselves–not for the government. This 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 and serves as a gauge for how fast government is growing versus our ability to pay for it. 

This year, as with almost every aspect of daily life, the COVID-19 virus is bringing a lot of uncertainty to Taxpayer Independence Day (TID). Based on the most recent estimates, all made before the virus hit, TID 2020 would come on April 14, one day sooner than last year. This means that on average, Floridians’ income was expected to grow a bit faster than last year; however, the economic slowdown brought about by COVID-19 is likely going to cause historic reductions in government revenue and personal income, at least in the short-term. Depending on the relative reductions in taxes and income—in both magnitude and timing—actual taxpayer independence in 2020 is likely to differ significantly from the current estimate. 

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