By Caroline Colarusso
Here in Massachusetts Tax Freedom Day fell on April 23rd this year. No this doesn’t mean you had until April 23rd to file your returns with the IRS or the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. It means you worked nearly the entire first 4 months of the year just to pay your tax burden.
In Massachusetts you did not start earning for yourself until April 24th this year. Think about it: the first 113 days of the year you worked to pay your federal, state and local taxes. Massachusetts this year ranked 43rd in the nation in the number of days’ residents must work to pay government taxes at all levels is followed only by the even more heavily taxed states of New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Illinois, Connecticut, and the District of Columbia.
According to the Tax Foundation this year “overall Americans contribute $3.4 trillion in federal taxes, $1.8 trillion in state and local taxes totaling $5.2 trillion which equates to 29% percent of our national income.” Federal, State and local taxation adds up to more than Americans spend on housing, clothing and food combined.”
The Tax Foundation breaks it down even further. On average It takes 42 days to pay off your federal, state and local taxes. Payroll taxes require you to work another 26 days and 15 full days to pay off sales and excise taxes. Real estate property taxes take 11 days while corporate income taxes take up a full 7 days. It will take 6 days to cover paying estate and inheritance, estate, and other miscellaneous taxes.
Not factored into Tax Freedom Day are the ever-increasing fees localities are placing on residents. Stoneham is no different encroaching higher and newly established fees on residents in the form of utilities such as water and sewer fees which increase all the time. A new fee was enacted for shoveling snow into the street, overnight parking fees, a tax on meals, along with everything that we purchase face the 6.25 % sales tax. All of this adds up and can be especially burdensome to young families just starting out and seniors on a fixed income.
If the Massachusetts Legislature has it their way, there will be a tax they are cleverly calling the Fair Share Amendment championed by our State Senator Jason Lewis which would add a 4% surtax on income that exceeds $1 million. States that have tried this approach have failed miserably as the jobs those millionaires provide move out of state with them, and the tax fails to provide the expected revenues as people leave the states that impose excessive taxation. You should also be aware of a new gas tax initiative in discussion on Beacon Hill. Four years ago, we defeated them at the ballot, but they can’t help raiding our wallets. Senator Lewis last year also proposed a tax on sugary drinks
Low tax states like Florida which ranks third best in the United States attract people simply because of their tax burden is low and quality of life improves when there is more income to dispose of. Small business thrives in a less burdensome tax environment as well.
I can be reached by phone at (781)438-5720 or email at: ContactCarolineforinfo@gmail.com