2013 Tax Freedom Day finally arrives for WV - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

2013 Tax Freedom Day finally arrives for WV

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    West Virginia has come a long way since former President John F. Kennedy visited the hillsides in 1963. The state has seen much success, but still has much progress to make.
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According to the Tax Foundation's annual calculation, Americans as of yesterday had worked enough days to pay their federal, state and local tax obligations for 2013.

But West Virginia workers had to work one more day than the national average in order to satisfy their tax obligations.

In a new study, economists William McBride, Elizabeth Malm and Kyle Pomerleau also calculated how long Americans would have to work to close the federal budget deficit. To pay for all spending in the current year, the government would need to raise another $833 billion in taxes, pushing Tax Freedom Day to May 9.

Americans had to work longer this year than in 2012 to satisfy tax obligations.

"This year, Americans will work five days later than in 2012 to pay all of their taxes," McBride said in a news release from the Tax Foundation. "The total tax bill at all levels comes to approximately $4.2 trillion, or 29.4 percent of their total income. That means Americans will pay more in taxes in 2013 than they will spend on food, clothing and housing combined."

And young people bear more of that burden.

According to Generation Opportunity, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for economic opportunity for young people, those under 35 have seen their wages fall by nearly $7,000 in the last 10 years. The unemployment rate for those aged 18-29 is 16.2 percent, meaning one of every six young adults is unemployed.

Generation Opportunity President Evan Feinberg said the increasing tax burden and federal deficit mean young people will spend most of the debts of past generations.

"Not only did it take four months to pay off this year's tax burden, but that doesn't' even count the trillion dollars we will borrow that young people will have to pay for later," he said in a news release. "Our spending woes mean young Americans will spend most of their lives laboring to pay off past debts and promises rather than creating new opportunities."

Residents in different states pay their tax obligations at different rates. Although April 18 was the national average, Tax Freedom Day comes later this spring for residents of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, which face a significantly higher tax burden than do residents of lower-income states. Residents in Mississippi and Louisiana saw Tax Freedom Day on March 29 and Tax Freedom Day arrived April 2 in Tennessee.

The latest ever Tax Freedom Day was May 1, 2000, when Americans paid 33 percent of their total income in taxes. But 100 years earlier, Americans only paid about 5.9 percent of their income in taxes, meaning Tax Freedom Day in 1900 arrived Jan. 22.

According to the Tax Foundation, five categories determine the tax burden. Individual income taxes, including federal, state and local, require 40 days of work; payroll taxes require 24 days; sales and excise taxes take 15 days of work; property taxes take 12 days and corporate income taxes require nine days.

The Tax Foundation is a nonpartisan tax research group based in Washington, D.C. It was formed in 1937 and collects data and publishes research studies on tax policies at the federal and state levels.