Common Sense: Tax Freedom Day

April 15 may be the day federal and state taxes are due, but it is not the actual Tax Freedom Day for most Americans.  Tax Freedom Day as defined by the Tax Foundation is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for the year or, in other words, the day you as an individual have earned enough to have satisfied all your tax obligations.

Essentially, all your earnings to this date go into paying your taxes – not feeding your family, paying your rent or saving for your retirement.  Of course, Tax Freedom Day will vary from state to state.

Nationally, Tax Freedom Day is April 24 in 2015. It was April 21 in 2014 and April 18 in 2013.  This is one circumstance where later is definitely not better.

New York State’s Tax freedom Day at May 3 is one of the latest in the nation, in fact, the 43rd latest. There is no date given for New York City residents, but in as much as we pay a city income tax, it would presumably be even later.

The northeast does have the distinction of having the two states with the latest Tax Freedom Days with New Jersey being May 13 and ranked 49th, and Connecticut’s being also May 13 and ranked 50th. Louisiana, with its Tax Freedom Day being April 2, ranks first among the states in personal tax obligations being satisfied.

With all this talk about taxes, let me try to bring it better into focus as a reminder to all that the best way to fight back against high taxes is to elect people to public office that understand the great tax burden we suffer under.  We should all keep this in mind as the May 5 election for Congress approaches.

It is an opportunity to send a strong message that our taxes are too high by voting against any candidate that has supported higher taxes in the past or who refuses to oppose voting for increased federal taxes.

In New York City, when you take into account all income-related taxes on a federal, state and city level, a middle income family of four as defined with a total taxable income around $125,000 could easily be paying an effective tax rate of 30 percent.

This does not take into account property taxes for homeowners, sales taxes and the numerous fees that are part of ordinary life here. The end result for that family of four that owns its own home could well be that 40 percent or more of its annual household income could be going simply to paying taxes.

Does anyone honestly believe he or she receives a value being a resident of New York City that is an equivalent of 40 percent of his or her annual income? If you worked at a job in which you were paid a salary that was not a close equivalent of the work you put into the job, when compared to people holding the same job in other parts of the country, would you not either quit or strike?

We New Yorkers do move away because of high taxes. If you strike by not paying your taxes you go to jail, so the only thing left to do is fight by voting.

May 3 is Tax Freedom Day in New York, but the special election day for Congress, May 5 is the real day on which you can help declare your desire to be free from high taxes.  Remember to mark your calendars to vote.


The Brooklyn Conservative Party will be honoring longtime Bay Ridge civic activist Arlene Rutuelo at its annual brunch which will be held at the Bay Ridge Manor on Sunday, April 26 beginning at noon.

Arlene has an amazing list of involvement in the Bay Ridge area.  She is the president of the Guild for Exceptional Children, vice chairperson of the Norwegian Christian Home, an organizer of the Norwegian Day Parade and former business leader along Third Avenue. This annual event, at which she will be presented with the Ronald Reagan Memorial Award of Volunteerism, is a fun event that is priced at $60 per person.

Anyone wishing more information or tickets should contact the Conservative Party at 718-921-2158 or go to the party’s website,

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