Taxes Are Typically Less Burdensome in Right to Work States, Regardless of Your Income Level


Last week, over at the National Right to Work Committee blog, I used the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation’s late March report on “Tax Freedom Day, 2015” to show that the average total tax burden for Right to Work state residents continues to be significantly lower than for residents of forced-unionism states.  In the aggregate, people living in forced-unionism states will have to work nearly two weeks longer this year just to pay off their taxes than people living in states with Right to Work protections.

Researchers for the Big Labor-allied Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) have long tried to downplay the importance of the undeniable fact that “Tax Freedom Day” typically comes later in forced-unionism strongholds by suggesting that it is only high-income households that really get socked under the tax regimes crafted and perpetuated by Big Labor and its favorite politicians.

However, data recently published by the web site WalletHub, and based on the ITEP’s own recent study, tell a completely different story.  (See the link below for more information.)

While nationwide households in the middle 20% for income fork over an average of  9.4% of their income in state and local taxes, in 13 of the 25 Right to Work states households in the middle 20% pay less than 9.0% of their income in such taxes.   Meanwhile, in 16 of the 25 forced-unionism states middle-income households have state-and-local tax burdens that are higher than the national average.

Similarly, in 17 of the 25 Right to Work states, households in the bottom 20% for income pay less than 10% of what they make in state and local taxes, even though the average nationwide state-and-local tax burden for households in the lowest quintile is 10.9%.  Among the nine states with the heaviest state-local tax burdens on residents in the lowest income quintile, six are forced-unionism.

Many people who personally don’t live in a high-income household strongly oppose the idea that such households should be penalized for their success through the tax system.  Their reasons differ.  Some believe there is no moral justification for “soaking” the high income; others believe, with ample evidence to back them up, that imposing extraordinarily heavy taxes on high earners results in fewer and worse-paying jobs for citizens at all income levels.

If it’s your principled belief that nobody in your state should have a total tax burden (federal, state and local) higher than, say, 25%, you won’t be much comforted by the fact that your own household gets off relatively well, when many of your fellow citizens are getting hit hard.

But average-income advocates of limited government in forced-unionism states like Illinois, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania don’t even have this cold comfort.  The Big Labor politicians in their states stick it to taxpayers at all income levels.

Union bosses consistently wield their forced-dues privileges to lobby for more onerous taxes on low-income and middle-income as well as high-income households. Image:

2015’s Best States to Be Rich or Poor from a Tax Perspective