Virginians' Tax Burden: No Glory In This Top 25Sep. 22, 2008
Feeling a little pinched lately? Feeling beat up by successive governors and legislators who think you've got room to pay more? There's good reason. You are pinched — and so much for liberal "compassion" for working families. According The Tax Foundation, which recently released its annual study of states' tax burdens, Virginia is slipping into the high tax zone. So much for the certain legislators and governors who are fond of saying "Virginia is a low tax state and can absorb an increase in the gas, sales, grantor's or your-favorite-tax here."
Since 2004, we've been in a slight zig-zag, but mostly we've been heading down into the low numbers. Whereas we had the 35th highest tax burden per capita in 1993, we've accelerated faster Michael Phelps down the homestretch. We dropped to 21 in 2007 and now are at 18 — that's the 18th highest tax burden in the country — and the first time since The Tax Foundation has kept score (in 1977) that Virginia has been in the teens. It stayed in the high 20s and low 30s until 1999. The tax burden is a the percentage of taxes against income. In 1993, in hard numbers, the tax burden was $1,566 per person. Today it is $3,281.
Virginians take pride when their alma maters crack the Top 25 polls. Although the politicians will give us "percentage-this and percentage-that" jargon because income levels have gone up during the same time (true), by what reason does that mean they should be tax it away? How is it that other states are passing us by so quickly? This is one Top 25 of which we should all be wary.