The European Union statistics bureau Eurostat has published data on the tax burden in EU member countries in 2016.
According to the usual indicator of the share of tax revenue and GDP contribution, Croatia placed in the middle of the EU tax burden scale in 2016. Such a position was often interpreted as an argument for justifying the introduction of additional or defending existing taxes.
The data also shows that France, Denmark and Belgium are the developed countries with the highest tax burden.
Most developed countries have a relatively high tax burden due to financing a larger share of public spending in GDP. The regularity that more developed countries have a higher level of public spending in the public finances and in the political economy is explained by the so-called Wagner law. This ‘’law’’ states that the economic and social progress of a country is regularly linked to the expansion of state activities (culture, welfare, etc.) which results in an absolute and relative increase in government expenditures.
According to Eurostat, Croatia is among the top five most burdened EU countries along with Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. This indicator also clearly outlines the real tax burden in developed countries, which is not that high in comparison to the level of the development (Germany, Belgium, Italy and Austria placed at the bottom of the scale).