Tags: Virginia | Gov. Terry McAuliffe | high taxes | Tax Freedom Day | watchdog.org

Ranked No. 40 in Tax Freedom, Virginia Is for Lovers — of Taxes

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Apr 2015 06:38 PM

Virginia politicians often tout the Old Dominion as a low-tax state, but Virginians have to work more days of the year for the government than people who live in neighboring, high-tax Washington, D.C.

Virginia’s Tax Freedom Day — when Virginians have collectively earned enough to pay all federal, state, and local taxes — is later than 39 other states, falling on April 27, according to annual research from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. You may have already filed your taxes, but you won’t really start working for yourself until the 117th day of the year, which makes even Washington, D.C. — which ranks 36 with a Tax Freedom Day of April 23 — look good.

That may come as a surprise to a lot of politicos and average Virginians.

"The message I would emphasize is, Virginia has consistently been a high-tax state, and I think that’s something Virginians don’t realize," Jared Walczak, a policy analyst with the Tax Foundation, told Watchdog.org. "You often hear how Virginia is a low-tax state, but that’s not really the case."

On paper, Virginia’s taxes may not look bad, Walczak said. But when you add up the individual and corporate income taxes, the commonwealth’s "very high" unemployment insurance taxes, the Business Professional and Occupational Licensing (BPOL) tax — which Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe vowed to reduce or eliminate — sales taxes, car taxes, and home property taxes, it’s a pretty cumbersome bill, he said.

Watchdog.org’s Kenric Ward recently detailed how Virginia’s car tax is one of the most burdensome in the country, and isn’t likely to go away anytime soon.

Walczak said the BPOL tax, which taxes a business’s gross receipts, is particularly oppressive.

"[A business] could be losing money hand over fist and they still owe those gross receipts taxes," Walczak said.

Louisiana has the earliest Tax Freedom Day on April 2; Connecticut and New Jersey tie for last — May 13.

It didn’t always take so long to pay for all those government services. In 1900, Americans only paid 5.9 percent of their income toward taxes, meaning Tax Freedom Day arrived Jan. 22, according to the Tax Foundation.

Here’s another depressing piece of information for you, if that wasn’t bad enough. This year Americans will spend more on federal, state, and local taxes than housing, clothing, and food combined.

Kathryn Watson is an investigative reporter for Watchdog.org’s Virginia Bureau, and can be found on Twitter @kathrynw5.

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Virginia politicians often tout the Old Dominion as a low-tax state, but Virginians have to work more days of the year for the government than people who live in neighboring, high-tax Washington, D.C.
Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, high taxes, Tax Freedom Day, watchdog.org
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2015-38-07
Tuesday, 07 Apr 2015 06:38 PM
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