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State has another important tax day

While tax day is April 15, West Virginians might want to keep a second date in mind: April 20.

According to the Tax Foundation, a national nonpartisan think tank, April 20 is the state's Tax Freedom Day — the day state residents finally have made enough money to pay their taxes for the year.

The Tax Foundation calculates the date every year for liabilities at both the national and state levels. The calculation includes income and payroll taxes, as well as the many other kinds of taxes residents may face.  

For 2013, West Virginia's April 20 Tax Freedom Day is the 11th latest among states.  

Mississippi and Louisiana residents bear the lowest tax burdens, according to the study, with their Tax Freedom Days both falling on March 29.

Connecticut residents will be the last to celebrate on May 13.

According to the foundation, the West Virginia's top personal income tax rate of 6.5 percent is the 19th highest among states that levy individual income taxes. The 7 percent corporate rate is the 24th highest among states that impose that tax.

The foundation said West Virginia's state and local governments collect an average $625 per person in general sales taxes and $686 per person in excise taxes on specific products such as gas, beer and cigarettes. The combined total of $1,311 ranks the state 23rd lowest nationally.

The state's 34.7-cent gas tax is 11th highest nationally, while our 55-cent cigarette tax is eighth lowest nationally.

Property taxes are a bright spot. West Virginia ranks seventh lowest in the nation. The foundation said state and local governments are set to collect about $745 per person in property taxes this year.

West Virginia's Tax Freedom Day is earlier than two of its five neighbors, Virginia and Maryland. Virginia has the ninth-latest date of all states, falling on April 21, while Maryland's April 23 date is the fourth latest.

Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania all have earlier dates. Kentucky's April 8th date is the second earliest in the country, while Ohio's April 14th date is ninth earliest.

Pennsylvania celebrates one day earlier than West Virginia, on April 19.


This year's national Tax Freedom Day is April 18.

"This year, Americans will work five days later than in 2012 to pay all of their taxes," said Tax Foundation economist William McBride.

"The total tax bill at all levels comes to approximately $4.2 trillion, or 29.4 percent of their total income," said McBride. "That means Americans will pay more in taxes in 2013 than they will spend on food, clothing and housing combined."

However, this year's national date is not the latest to have been calculated.  

The foundation says that was May 1, 2000, and it meant Americans paid one-third of their total income in taxes that year. By comparison, in 1900, Americans paid only 5.9 percent and Tax Freedom Day was pinpointed at Jan. 22.

Contact business editor Jared Hunt at or 304-348-4836. 


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