'Tax Freedom Day' to Arrive 3 Days Earlier in 2008, Says Group

Americans won't have to work as long this year to earn enough to pay their taxes, a non-profit group said on Wednesday.

"Tax Freedom Day," sometimes called the day people stop working for the government and start working for themselves, will fall on April 23 this year, three days earlier than in 2007, the Tax Foundation said on Wednesday.

The group estimates the date each year based on government data on income and taxes. It attributed this year's earlier date to tax rebates designed to stimulate the nation's economy, and expectations that economic growth will be slow in 2008.

Americans will have to work on average 74 days to cover federal taxes, and another 39 days to cover state and local taxes, the group said. Housing costs require 60 days of work, while health care requires 50 days and food 35 days, it said.

Because tax burdens vary by state, taxpayers won't all have the same tax freedom day, the group said.

Residents of Connecticut will on average have to wait the longest, until May 8, to earn enough to cover their taxes, the group said. New Jersey residents must wait until May 7, New Yorkers until May 5, and Californians until April 30.

On the other hand, Alaska residents will have earned enough to pay taxes by March 29, several days before anyone else. Mississippi reaches the threshold on April 7, followed by Montana and West Virginia on April 8, the group said.