We’re number 10! We’re number 10!
But in this case, that’s nothing to brag about. Minnesota has the tenth-most expensive government in the country.
Each year, Americans for Tax Reform computes Cost of Government Day, which measures the cost of taxation and regulation on each state. The group defines it as:
the date of the calendar year, counting from January 1, on which the average American has earned enough in cumulative gross income to pay for his or her share of government spending (total federal, state, and local) plus the cost of regulation.
The calculation is of both federal and state burdens, and federal income taxes, like those of Minnesota, are “progressive,” meaning the more you earn, the more you get charged as a portion of your income. (Whether or not that’s actually a progressive idea is for the reader to decide.)
The state with the highest burden is Connecticut. The least is Alabama. The group estimates that Minnesotans will work for government 197 days in 2007, five days longer than the national average of 192.
What this means is that in Minnesota, you work until July 16 (July 16!) to pay for various requirements that governments impose on you. That’s the tenth-longest duration of any state, putting Minnesota behind famously high-tax states such as Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, but “ahead of” (more highly taxed than) Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Nebraska, Kansas, Indiana, North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri and South Dakota–putting the “upper” into “Upper Midwest.”
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