Video: Tax Freedom Day in Utah

In 2012, Utahns had to work 107 days to earn enough to pay all their federal, state and local taxes for the year. If all those earnings had gone straight to taxes, then beginning today, Utahns would get to keep the money they earn to spend on the needs of their families.

Watch this video report to learn more about Tax Freedom Day:


Here’s the script of the video: 

ROYCE VAN TASSELL: “Tax Freedom Day is the day in the year when you stop paying the government state local and federal taxes, you actually get to keep the money that you start earning. This year is April 17th. Across the country, because you have different tax rates and the progressivity of the Federal income tax, you have a different tax Freedom Day for each state.”

VOICE-OVER: Royce Van Tassell with Utah Taxpayers Association says this year Utah’s Tax Freedom Day happens to fall on Tuesday, April 17, but it’s not always on the same date.

VAN TASSELL: “It fluctuates back and forth, it depends on tax collections and how strong the economy is and various changes at the state and local level. Between 2004 and 2007 the state enacted a $440 million income tax cut, and so that obviously is going to push things back a little bit.”

VOICE-OVER: Tennessee has the earliest Tax Freedom Day this year, on March 31, while Connecticut has the latest on May 5. Charlie Roberts, a public information officer at the Utah State Tax Commission, explains how much Utahns will be paying in taxes this year.

CHARLIE ROBERTS: “They will be paying almost $15 billion in federal income employment and the state taxes. And for state taxes $1.6 billion in state and local taxes and then another $2.3 billion in state individual income taxes.”

VOICE-OVER: Utahns will spend 9.7 percent of their salary on taxes this year. But how much do Utahns pay in taxes compared with people in other states?

ROBERTS: “Alaska is on the low end at 6.3 percent and then New Jersey on the other end at a little over 12 percent.”

VOICE-OVER: Roberts says compared with other states, Utah ranks in the middle when it comes to tax rates.

ROBERTS: “Depends how you look at it; basically, it’s right in the middle. For the tax burden per capita it’s about $3,300 a year; the high tax state in that category is Connecticut at $7,256 and on the other end Mississippi is down around $2,600.”

VOICE-OVER: According to Van Tassell, Utah is on the right path with our tax rates.

VAN TASSELL: “We have consistently been ranked very well in terms of our tax climate, our business-friendly climate. ‘Rich States Poor States’ from ALEC [American Legislative Exchange Council] just came out, and for the fifth year in a row, Utah is best for the business tax climate in the country. But as I said, there are still opportunities to grow.”

VOICE-OVER: Sutherland Institute agrees. Director of Public Policy Derek Monson says, “On multiple occasions Sutherland has praised the Legislature for holding strong to fiscally conservative tax policy by not implementing any general tax hikes during the recent, very difficult recession. But we have also called on policymakers to eliminate Utah’s corporate income tax so that entrepreneurs can make Utah’s economy an even better engine of job production and prosperity. By enacting such policies, Utah’s good tax climate will be even better.” For Sutherland Institute, I’m Alexis Young, reminding you that public policy changes lives.