Budget & Tax

J. Scott Moody & Wendy Warcholik, Ph.D. | December 6, 2009

How long do Oklahomans work to pay their taxes?

J. Scott Moody & Wendy Warcholik, Ph.D.

In FY 2008, Oklahomans paid an estimated $34,569,140,000 in federal, state, and local taxes, such as income taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes, to name just a few. This is a mind-bendingly large number. To put this into a more understandable form, let's imagine a typical workday and divide that workday into all the major items that Oklahomans pay for in a given year. As the chart below shows, Oklahomans spend more time working to pay their federal, state, and local taxes than they do to pay for food, clothing, and shelter combined.

Workday Needed to Pay

J. Scott Moody

OCPA Research Fellow

OCPA research fellow J. Scott Moody (M.A., George Mason University) serves as chief executive officer of State Budget Solutions. Formerly a senior economist at the Tax Foundation and a senior economist at the Heritage Foundation, he has twice testified before the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Moody is the co-creator of the Tax Foundation’s popular “State Business Tax Climate Index.” His work has appeared in Forbes, CNN Money, State Tax Notes, The Oklahoman, and several other publications. This article is an updated version of an analysis published in 2008.

Wendy Warcholik, Ph.D.

OCPA Research Fellow

Wendy P. Warcholik (Ph.D., George Mason University) is an OCPA research fellow. She formerly served as an economist at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, and was the chief forecasting economist for the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services. She is a co-creator (with J. Scott Moody) of the Tax Foundation’s popular “State Business Tax Climate Index.”

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