In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, Florida collected $65.3 billion in state and local taxes. While this is an impressive sum of money, it tells us little about whether or not the average Florida taxpayer can afford this level of taxation.
As shown in the charts below, Florida’s state and local tax burden (tax collections divided by personal income) was the eighth lowest in the nation for FY 2011 at 8.8 percent—or 16 percent below the national average of 10.5 percent. Florida’s tax burden has actually declined over time by -11.3 percent to 8.8 percent in FY 2011 from 9.9 percent in FY 1950.
Florida’s low state and local tax burden can be first attributed to not having an individual or corporate income tax since they tend to be progressive (higher tax rates on higher levels of income) which increases the tax burden over time. Additionally, Florida has been reducing the property tax and all other taxes with declines of -14.7 percent and -57.2 percent, respectively.
J. Scott Moody has over 18 years as a public policy economist with a specialty in tax policy and has over 180 publications. He has worked for numerous national and state-based think tanks such as Federalism In Action, Tax Foundation, Heritage Foundation, and The Maine Heritage Policy Center.