Every country has its own Tax Freedom Day—the point on the calendar when taxpayers have collectively earned enough money to pay the country’s tax bill for the year. Libertarian Club Libek, an Atlas Network partner in Serbia, annually calculates the exact date of Tax Freedom Day and promotes this not-so-happy holiday as a real-life case study of the costs of big government. In 2019, Serbia’s Tax Freedom Day was May 28.
To better explain these costs, Libek has released a Tax Freedom Calculator that evaluates the exact number of hours any Serbian has to work before they’ve paid their share of the government’s operating expenses. The calculator, called MojPorez (MyTax), is online at www.talas.rs/mojporez.
“The launch of the Tax Calculator is one step towards more transparency and accountability in government spending in Serbia,” explained Petar Čekerevac, executive manager of Libek.
“The platform is also an important addition to our online media outlet, Talas.rs, and in establishing the image of Libek and Talas outlet as a go to place for discussion about economic future of Serbia.”
In addition to showing how much of their money the government collects, MojPorez also shows how these taxes are spent. Libek also hosted a forum leading up to the launch of the platform, where experts discussed the ways the Serbian government spends taxpayer dollars.
One of the key ways Libek promotes the values of limited government and individual liberty is by showing Serbians the cost of a large state and how that personally impacts each citizen. “It is important that the citizens of Serbia are aware of the amount of money they give to the government and how the government spends that money,” continued Čekerevac.
In Serbia, Tax Freedom Day has consistently taken place in May, meaning that almost half the year’s wages of the entire country go to the government. Serbia has adopted more pro-market policies in recent years as a way of staying economically competitive with the rest of Europe—but as Čekerevac notes, until significant changes occur inside the government, the Serbian economy will be unable to reach its full potential.
Libek President Libek Miloš Nikolić concluded: “Serbia has achieved a higher macroeconomic stability, but in order for the economy to grow faster it needs a comprehensive reform in several areas. Reduction of tax burden on labor should be a priority."