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National Priorities Project
MARCH 30, 2005
9:53 AM
CONTACT: National Priorities Project 
Anita Dancs, Research Director
U.S. Taxpayers Give Lion's Share to Military; State and City Breakdowns Available

WASHINGTON -- March 30 -- When Tax Day comes on April 15th, taxpayers should know that 30 cents of each federal income tax dollar they paid supported military and defense, while four cents went to education, according to the National Priorities Project (NPP), a non-partisan, non-profit research group.

Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go?, NPP's just released publication, provides a detailed breakdown of how the federal government allocated the average household's 2004 tax dollars in each state and 193 towns, cities and counties at

The average U.S. household's 2004 federal income tax payment was $6,296. Of that amount, $1,887 went to the military and defense, while $1,171 went to interest on the debt. The breakdown also includes: $1,276 to health care; $231 to education; $216 to veterans' benefits; $135 to housing, and $25 to job training.

Close to one-third of Americans' income tax dollars is spent on national security. This money is divided into military operations, homeland security and preventive measures such as diplomacy, peacekeeping and development aid. Military operations received 91 percent of all national security tax dollars, while homeland security received five percent and preventive measures got three percent.

"As the expanding military budget strips communities of vital support and the cost of war in Iraq continues to spiral upward, people deserve to ask whether this is how they want their tax dollars spent," said Greg Speeter, executive director of the National Priorities Project. "Their elected officials need to hear their answers."

To find out the cost of war for each state, go to or for hundreds of cities at To find out the state level impact of President Bush's proposed budget for FY 2006 go to

The National Priorities Project creates reliable estimates using data culled from various sources, primarily the federal government. Detailed explanations of methodologies and sources for Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go? can be found at


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