California Taxes

IE Business Daily

September 5, 2015

In July of this year the State of California passed a total budget of $167 Billion including general fund, special funds, and bond fund expenditures. This is an all-time record funded primarily by increased revenue created by higher taxes on all Californians as well as improved revenues from wealthy taxpayers whose income actually increased.

The Governor and legislature increased general fund spending on education, Health and Human Services, and even extended medical coverage to illegal aliens. But with the increased revenue, did any of it go to fund roads and highways that the Governor has admitted to underfunding to the tune of $60 billion dollars? No.

The Governor instead passed that responsibility off to a Special Legislative Session that ends September 15th, in an effort to pass increased taxes on gasoline, diesel fuel, and cars, commodities mostly paid for by the poor and middle class. Californians now pay the highest per gallon gas taxes in the country, when you add in the carbon tax implemented in January of at least 10 cents per gallon. (They don’t actually calculate the number for us as it is assigned to gasoline companies who charge it to consumers through increased gas prices at the pump.)

Now, the state legislature is proposing a 12 cent per gallon increase in the gas tax along with higher car fees and a new “Prius” tax on electric vehicles because electric vehicles have been getting a free ride.

This wouldn’t be so offensive if California were a low taxation state and actually spent gasoline taxes and vehicle based revenues on repairing and maintaining roads and highways. But, of course that is not the case.

Californians pay some of the highest taxes in the United States in nearly every range whether you are comparing sales taxes, income taxes, gasoline taxes, and property taxes when based on actual dollars paid. Coupled with some of the highest consumer prices in the country on electricity, gasoline, and commodities like eggs due to expensive regulations along with the high cost of housing, and it is no surprise that California has the highest poverty rates in the country.

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