View as PDF Chicago—April 29 marks Tax Freedom Day for Illinoisans, indicating the point in 2016 when taxpayers stop laboring to fund local, state, and federal governments with their taxes and finally begin to keep their hard-earned money.
“Illinois ranks 44th for its Tax Freedom Day in 2016, one of the latest in the nation” said Jared Labell, director of operations for Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “Sadly, Illinois appears near the bottom of the list this year, but that’s unsurprising as its 7,000 taxing bodies have transformed the Prairie State into the Government State.”
“Tens of thousands of taxpayers became Ex-Illinoisans since the temporary state income tax increase in 2011. That’s no coincidence. The U.S. Census Bureau data correlates with Tax Freedom Day falling later in Illinois annually as the tax burden for Illinois residents grows exponentially,” said Labell.
For Illinois taxpayers, Tax Freedom Day has been a day of mourning in recent years, occurring on April 15 in 2011, April 23 in 2012, April 25 in 2013, April 28 in 2014, and April 30 in 2015. The fact that Illinoisans are working for the government one day less this year can be attributed to the rollback of the temporary state income tax at the start of 2015, following the election of Gov. Bruce Rauner (R), but other local tax increases across the state prevented a better ranking.
According to the Tax Foundation’s annual “Tax Freedom Day” report for all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., nationwide Tax Freedom Day fell on April 24, representing how long Americans have to work in order to pay the nation’s tax burden. However, if annual federal borrowing is included in the calculation, therefore factoring in future taxes owed, Tax Freedom Day would be pushed back more than two weeks to May 10.
By far, taxpayers will work the longest to pay local, state, and federal individual income taxes, totaling 46 days. Americans will pay $3.34 trillion in federal taxes in 2016 and an additional $1.64 trillion in state and local taxes, for an astonishing total tax bill of $4.99 trillion, or 31 percent of national income, according to the report. Americans will send more tax dollars to the government in 2016 than they will spend on food, clothing, and housing combined.
“Illinois is facing a $10 billion budget shortfall by this summer. The state has the lowest credit ratings nationwide and by far the worst-funded government pension system. Illinois has recorded fourteen straight years of budget deficits and is about to enter its eleventh month without a state budget,” said Labell. “The real question for Illinois taxpayers is simple. Taxes are revolting, so why aren’t you?”