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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Tax Foundation: Idaho ranks 36th among states for total tax burden

The Tax Foundation calculates "Tax Freedom Day" for each state, the date on which workers theoretically have earned enough to cover their full tax burden at the federal, state and local levels. Economist Mark Robyn told the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho this morning that Idaho's date is April 3rd, which at 93 days ranks as 36th in the nation. Nationally, the foundation sets the date at April 12, at 102 days. That national date is three days later this year than last year, but nearly two weeks earlier than it was in 2007, reflecting a lower overall tax burden comparatively.

Robyn shared graphs and charts showing stats about the nation's tax system, including that top federal tax rates have dropped significantly since the 1950s. "A large and growing percent of families and households ... don't pay federal income tax," he said, displaying a chart showing a sharp rise in "non-payers." "It's creeping up to near 45 percent." Meanwhile, since 2000, more business income is now taxed under the individual tax code than the corporate tax code, Robyn said.

The statutory corporate tax rate for the U.S. is second only to Japan's, Robyn said, and there's some interest in reforms. "Lots of people will say the rate doesn't matter, no one pays the 35 percent corporate tax rate, which is true. They have credits and deductions," he said. Still, he said a statutory high rate can be a "disincentive," though "it is true that effective tax rates are much lower." One study by the Tax Foundation showed the effective corporate tax rate since 1994 has averaged around 26 percent.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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