State's Lowest Wage Earners Pay Much More of Income in Taxes Than Top Earners, Report Finds

Jan 28, 2015

Credit 401(K) 2012/Flickr

A recent report said the Sunshine State makes its lowest wage earners pay much more of their income in taxes than its top earners.  

The report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy or ITEP said Florida’s bottom 20 percent of earners pay almost seven times more of their income in taxes than the top 1 percent.

ITEP’s Executive Director Matthew Gardner said this is because Florida does not have a personal income tax. Instead, the state relies on sales and property taxes, which Gardner said fall most heavily on low income earners.

And Gardner said this could be a problem down the road as wages have been stagnant for bottom earners. And the real growth is happening at the top.

“If you have a tax system like Florida’s is relying overwhelmingly on the people who have the least money and the least income growth to pay for public services in the long run, Florida’s going to find it very hard to pay for needed investments that way,” he said.

The report said middle wage earners in Florida pay about four times as much of their income in taxes than the top 1 percent. ITEP also partners with the left-leaning Citizens for Tax Justice.

Read the report HERE.