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Potatoes and taxes: A glimpse at what we pay

July 14. 2014 8:10PM

You might have seen the story of Zack Brown, the Columbus, Ohio, man who jokingly started a kickstarter online fundraising campaign to finance a single bowl of potato salad. At one point, he had pledges of $70,000. What would be the tax bill for a $70,000 order of potato salad? Try $21,167.

That would be Brown’s tax bill if he got $70,000 in cash for his potato salad, the analysts at the Tax Foundation calculated. According to a Washington Post story, the bill would include $9,313 in payroll taxes, $8,632.22 in federal income taxes, $1,510.20 in city taxes, and $1,712 in state income tax. The federal income tax would amount to 13.1 percent, but the total tax bill would be 32.1 percent.

Because of federal withholdings, it is not easy to see how much we are really paying in taxes. Zack Brown’s kickstarter campaign provides a good look at just how much money government actually takes from us. Granite Staters on average work until April 19 to pay off their tax bills. We work nearly 1/3 of the year just to pay our taxes. And still there are people who do think this is not long enough.

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