NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Tax Freedom Day: Sooner (With Bush Tax Cuts) Or Later

May 23, 2001

Tax Freedom Day, the day on which Americans earned enough this year to pay all the taxes levied by federal, state and local governments, came the latest ever, on May 3, according to the Tax Foundation. It was just last year that Tax Freedom Day first came as late as May Day. In 1991, by contrast, Tax Freedom Day was only April 20.

Still, it will be worse, says the Tax Foundation. If federal taxes -- which accounted for almost all the increased tax burden on Americans in the 1990s -- are not cut, in 10 years Tax Freedom Day will fall a week later (May 10) as rising incomes lift more Americans into higher tax brackets. If the full Bush tax cut, as he proposed it, were enacted, Tax Freedom Day would still advance to May 5.

The 123 days Americans labored to pay taxes this year break down this way:

  • 50 days to pay individual income taxes,
  • 29 days to pay Social Security taxes,
  • 16 days to pay sales and excise taxes,
  • 15 days to pay business taxes,
  • 10 days to pay property taxes,

And two days to pay all other taxes.

Source: J. Scott Moody, "America Celebrates Tax Freedom Day," Special Report No. 104, April 2001, Tax Foundation, 1250 H Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, D.C. 20005, (202) 783-2760.


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