BY FRANCES NUAR – Ninety-six. That is the number of days one must work each year in Hawaii to pay Uncle Sam before taking home their hard-earned dollars. That means the first three months of the year you work not for yourself, but for the government. This number includes federal, state, and local taxes, for a grand total of 26.3% of your income. That $50,000 offer doesn’t sound so good when you realize it’s only $36,850, does it? That means your monthly income of $4,167 shrinks to $3,070–and I’m guessing you could find plenty of places to spend an extra grand a month.
According to the Tax Freedom Day report published today by the Tax Foundation, that actually places Hawaii almost a week ahead of the national Tax Freedom Day of April 12. Meaning, the first 102 days of the year, Americans toil for Uncle Sam. This is three days later than last year, when tax day was April 9.
To put this in perspective, thanks to an ever-growing government at both the federal and state levels and entitlements galore, taxes as a percentage of income has risen from 5.5% of income a hundred years ago in 1911 to 27.7% of income in 2011.
These tax numbers do not even account for the deficit. If taxes were collected to cover the actual expenses of the government, Tax Freedom Day would move from April 12 to May 23.
And for what, is always the question? We pay such a high percentage of our income for good infrastructure? No, our roads are terrible and traffic is a nightmare. The rail project is now being questioned by even seasoned supporters. Do we pay 26.3% of our incomes for good schools? No, our public schools consistently perform under-par. The list goes on and on.
Makes April 15 a very fitting day to have your taxes due when you realize all the money you’ve made so far this year is going to Uncle Sam. Such beautiful irony.