Florida has the Third Lowest Tax Burden in the Nation for 2015

May 15, 2017

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, Florida collected $67 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.

Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2015


As shown in Chart 1, Florida’s state and local tax burden (tax collections divided by private sector personal income) was the third lowest in the nation for FY 2015 at 10.8 percent—or -25 percent below the national average of 14.4 percent.


Chart 1 Florida State and Local Tax Burden FY 2015.jpg


#FL #taxburden in FY 2015 was the 3rd lowest in the nation at 20.6%— -25% below national average @keypolicydata #FLleg (click to tweet)


As shown in Chart 2, Florida’s tax burden has decreased over time by -11 percent to 10.8 percent in FY 2015 from 12.1 percent in FY 1950. Only two other states have accomplished this amazing feat: Alaska which is down -36 percent (since FY 1959 which is the year they became a state) and South Dakota which is down -8 percent.


Chart 2 Florida Tax Burden by Type of Tax FY 1950 to 2015.JPG


#Florida #taxburden has decreased -11% between FY 1950 to 2015 to 10.8% from 12.1% @keypolicydata #FLleg (click to tweet)


Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2015


As shown in Chart 3, Florida’s 10.8 percent tax burden is greater than these combined industries: construction (4.7 percent), manufacturing (4.1 percent), and real estate and rental and leasing (1.8 percent).


Chart 3 Florida State and Local Tax Burden vs. Major Industry FY 2015.JPG


#FL #taxburden > combined industries: construction, manufacturing, and real estate @keypolicydata #FLleg (click to tweet)


Florida’s low state and local tax burden can be first attributed to not having an individual income tax since it tends 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 -27 percent (3.6 percent, 18th lowest) and -52 percent (3 percent, 18th highest), respectively. These declines are offset by the sales tax which has grown 357 percent to 3.8 percent and is the 17th highest in the country.

Of course, the tax burdens for local government can vary just as much as they do among the 50 states. As such, we have also calculated the local government tax burden for every county in Florida—this includes every taxing jurisdiction within the geographic county borders whether it is a city, a special district, or county government itself (see Chart 4).

The ten Florida counties with the highest local government tax burden include:

  • Putnam County, FL (18.4 percent)
  • Hamilton County, FL (12.8 percent)
  • Franklin County, FL (10.1 percent)
  • Gulf County, FL (9.7 percent)
  • Union County, FL (9.6 percent)
  • Hernando County, FL (8.5 percent)
  • Hardee County, FL (7.2 percent)
  • De Soto County, FL (7 percent)
  • Glades County, FL (6.9 percent)
  • Washington County, FL (6.8 percent)

The ten Florida counties with the lowest local government tax burden include:

  • Santa Rosa County, FL (2.6 percent)
  • St. Johns County, FL (2.7 percent)
  • Collier County, FL (3 percent)
  • Clay County, FL (3.1 percent)
  • Indian River County, FL (3.2 percent)
  • Martin County, FL (3.2 percent)
  • Pasco County, FL (3.4 percent)
  • Wakulla County, FL (3.5 percent)
  • Jefferson County, FL (3.5 percent)
  • Seminole County, FL (3.5 percent)

Chart 4 Florida Local Tax Burden by County FY 2015.JPG

Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2015



Finally, don’t forget to watch our exclusive time-lapse video of state and local tax burdens over the last 65 years! See if your state has been above or below the national average?



Category: Tax Burdens

J. Scott Moody

Scott has nearly 20 years of experience as a public policy economist. He is the author, co-author and editor of over 180 studies and books. His professional experience also includes positions at the American Conservative Union Foundation, Granite Institute, Federalism In Action, Maine Heritage Policy Center, Tax Foundation, and Heritage Foundation.

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