A big selling point to convincing people to move to the Sunshine State has always been that Florida has no state income tax. And that's true. But the reality is that Florida ranks at the very bottom when it comes to the fairest taxes in the U.S.
This means that the poorest of those living in Florida are far more likely to to be burdened by taxes than the 1 percent. This according to the latest study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
The study, titled Who Pays? measures "the state and local taxes that will be paid in 2015 by different income groups as a share of their incomes." And according to the findings, Florida's poorest pay 13 percent of their income in state and local taxes, while the 1 percenters wind up paying 2 percent.
That's the worst in the U.S., with only Washington state ranked worse.
Part of the issue stems from Florida leaning too much on sales tax for revenue. The fact that the state has no income tax might be a contributing factor as well, basically because states that do have income tax offer some kind of credit to working class and lower income earners.
For example, if you're not part of that 1 percent and you buy food, the taxes tagged onto your bill is extra cash out of your pocket.
Of course, there's some good that comes from the extra sales tax. The state benefits when tourists come to town and buy stuff and go to restaurants. There's also the Homestead Property Tax Exemption, which helps regular folks keep their homes when times get rough.
Arguments can be made on both sides, of course. But the Who Pays? study focuses mostly on regressive taxes versus progressive taxes and puts Florida in its Terrible Ten.
"Terrible Ten states tax their poorest residents -- those in the bottom 20 percent of the income scale -- at rates up to seven times higher than the wealthy," the study says. "Middle-income families in these states pay a rate up to three times higher as a share of their income as the wealthiest families."
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy's study factored all major state and local taxes, including personal and corporate income taxes, property taxes, sales and other excise taxes.
You can read the entire study below:
who pays report.pdf by Chris Joseph
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