This article was posted on Thursday, May 01, 2014

Have you stopped to consider how high your taxes are? If you live in California, you are taxed at a higher rate than nearly any other state. Some say California taxes you for everything. It has some of the steepest sales tax, personal income tax and corporate tax rates in the nation.


Jon Coupal is the President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is a legal and political watchdog organization that follows state regulations and initiatives.

Coupal said, “We have about 40 million people in California and it’s only a couple of hundred thousand who pay 40 percent of the income tax. When you think about that it is one of the problems we have in California, an over reliance on a small handful of taxpayers.”

Coupal believes that California will never grow out of this unless we have a vibrant economic recovery and that will not happen unless we change the way we do business. Many are reaching the tipping point with the tax and regulations – “We love California but it’s just becoming too burdensome.”  The numbers do not lie.

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  • California’s sales tax rate is 7.5 percent. In addition, add in whatever your city tacks on to that and the total sales tax rate can be as high as 10 percent.
  • California’s personal income tax is a whopping 13.3 percent, the highest in America. Consider that California competes against states like Texas, Nevada, and Florida for businesses and workers, and those states don’t have state income taxes.
  • Every time we fill up, we pay the nation’s highest gas tax at nearly 72 cents per gallon.
  • If you own a business, it only gets worse. California taxes small businesses at least $800 even if the companies lose money on the year.

KMPH Fox 26 News tried to get a comment about the taxes we all pay in California from the state’s top politician. However, when I drove up to Sacramento, he was told Governor Brown was in Southern California for an important meeting. Despite asking the Governor for an interview months in advance and calling several times, I’m continually being told that the interview request is still in.

Coupal said certain groups of people are leaving California because of high taxes. Two major groups are people and businesses that make a lot of money. They are moving to Nevada and Texas in big numbers. Recent college graduates and people who work in trades such as construction are also leaving because companies are moving the jobs to other states.

Coupal added, “More people are moving out, about 1.2 million people in eight years, which is a significant outflow of individuals.”

Coupal points out a huge problem that Governor Brown will not talk about. While Governor Brown claims, the budget is balanced. California’s public pension plan is hundreds of billions of dollars in debt and things are just getting worse.

Coupal said, “There was an organization that attempted to calculate all the long-term financial obligations by public agencies in the state ofCalifornia. The number was over a trillion dollars. When I hear the T-word, trillion, that’s like a federal number.”

Recently, Governor Brown announced that the state will start funding its retirement system at a higher level. However, many state lawmakers and unions are opposed.

Therefore, the problem is not going away.

Members of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and other experts say California could be hit hard the next time a recession comes along. Some economists are saying that won’t be much longer.

This article was written by Erik Rosales, a KMPH Fox 26 Reporter.


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