On average, the 30 industrialized nations on the OECD list have an average tax rate equivalent to 36% of the GDP, which represents a 20% increase since 1975. The OECD says high taxes may not be a bad thing -- it all depends on how the government spends the revenue. Despite Sweden's high taxes, the country still makes the OECD list of countries with the highest economic performance over the last 20 years.
So where are the taxing trends headed? According to the OECD, they're headed up, especially in the corporate and personal income tax realm. Consumption taxes are headed down, despite the fact that consumption taxes are considered to have less of a deleterious effect on economic growth.
Tax Money image by Thiisasign [cc, 2.0]