Pennsylvanians Spend Nearly 1/3 of Year Paying Taxes

Member Group : Commonwealth Foundation

Pennsylvanians Spend Nearly One-Third of Year Paying Taxes
Tax Bills Exceed Spending on Housing, Clothing, & Food Combined

April 21, 2016, HARRISBURG, Pa.—If you thought Tax Day was April 15, think again. By this Friday, April 22, Pennsylvanians will have finally earned enough to pay their 2016 tax bill—a bill that exceeds what they’ll spend on housing, clothing, and food combined.

A report on Pennsylvania’s Tax Freedom Day is available at the non-partisan Tax Foundation.

"This year, Pennsylvania taxpayers will spend nearly four months earning enough income to pay their federal, state, and local taxes," commented Elizabeth Stelle, director of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation. "It’s outrageous that we’re spending more on taxes than on housing, clothing, and food combined."

This stunning tax bill is driven by government spending growth at all levels. State government spending grew by 41 percent from 2005-2015. The commonwealth’s state and local tax burden alone, excluding federal taxes, now stands at an astounding $18,000 per family of four.

Stelle continued:

The latest budget impasse proved Pennsylvanians have no appetite for higher taxes. Friday’s Tax Freedom Day only underscores they were right to reject Gov. Wolf’s record tax increase plans. Despite the heavy tax load Pennsylvanians already bear, Wolf still insists it’s not enough. His 2016-17 budget proposal would increase the tax burden by $850 per family of four, including raising the personal income tax by 11 percent—retroactive to January 1.

Taxpayers who spend 112 days a year just to fund government spending don’t want to hear they’re not taxed enough. They want to hear lawmakers are doing everything possible to spend responsibly rather than spend more.
Elizabeth Stelle and other Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment. Please contact Gina Diorio at 862-703-6670 to schedule an interview.

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