Study: Poorest Floridians Taxed at Higher Rate than Richest Californians

#TaxTheRich Action With Billboard Truck At Sen. Marco Rubio's Tampa Office

Photo: Gerardo Mora / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

Florida Policy Institute (FPI) and the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) released a study today that found California’s tax system is fairer than Florida’s.

Eli Byerly-Duke, a state policy analyst at ITEP and co-author of the study, says, “Some people like to call Florida a ‘low-tax’ state, but the state only has low taxes for the wealthy. While the richest 1 percent of Florida pay only 2.7 percent of their income in state and local taxes, working families pay three and a half times as much. In contrast, many families with modest incomes in ‘high tax’ California pay less than Floridians, while even the richest 1 percent of Californians pay lower taxes than the poorest 20 percent of Florida families.”

While Florida does not have a state income tax, a new study found the bottom 40 percent of income earners in Florida pay a higher tax rate than California. Esteban Santis with the Florida Policy Institute says the majority of the state's revenue comes from sales taxes which he calls "regressive." By contrast, California's tax code is flat which means everyone is paying roughly the same rate.

Santis says Florida policy makers can shift the tax burden by closing corporate tax loopholes. Also, he predicts that the new Florida gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe will raise revenue and potentially improve the livelihood of all Florida taxpayers.

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