This post originally appeared at www.fiscalaccountability.org.

Today, August 25th, marks Virginia’s Cost of Government Day—the day of the year when the average citizen has stopped paying for the burden of government and can begin to earn for themselves.  Virginia’s Cost of Government Day comes on the same day as Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania’s Cost of Government Days. 

This means that Virginians had to labor for 237 days to pay off the burden of government in their state—including both spending and regulatory burdens.  This is 6 days later than the national Cost of Government Day, which fell on August 19th this year.

The cause of this late date is government largesse—and Virginia is left footing the bill.  From 2002 to 2008, state spending has grown by nearly 33% from $26.5 billion a year to $35.3 billion a year.  To sustain this bloated government, Virginians have been saddled with over $3 billion in new taxes over the past eight years. This amounts to a $380.70 tax increase on every man, woman and child in the Old Dominion State in that time period.

Under the leadership of the new governor, some ideas have been floated that would ease the burden suffered by Virginia taxpayers, such as privatizing the state-run liquor stores; this effort could save as much as $115 million while generating $500 million in new revenue. Absent reforms that take this hard-nosed approach, however, Virginians will continue to work longer than taxpayers in other states to pay for the encroaching costs of government. 

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Photo Credit: Billadler