Taxing California: Highest in the nation and unstable, too


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By Judy Lin, CALmatters

California’s major revenue sources have shifted over time. Until 1995, the biggest was property taxes. Today, it’s personal income taxes.

And California ranks fairly high in overall taxation: 10th highest both per capita and as a percentage of personal income, based on the latest available data from the U.S. Census.

In 2015, state and local governments collected $228.7 billion in taxes, including property, sales, personal and corporate income levies and a few others, according to the census. That’s in a state with more than 39 million residents and personal income worth nearly $2 trillion that year.

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California’s taxes have risen in ranking partly because of voter-approved increases. In November 2012, the state passed a temporary hike in sales taxes of 0.25 percent and raised personal income taxes on the rich. Four years later, voters extended the income tax increase for 12 more years.

Gov. Brown and lawmakers also approved a 12-cent gas-tax hike in 2017 to help raise $5 billion a year for aging infrastructure. The measure includes increasing the annual vehicle fee between $25 and $175, depending on the vehicle’s value.

Of course, there’s some variation:

California has the highest statewide sales tax rate, at 7.25 percent, and is ranked ninth by the Tax Foundation in combined state and local sales tax rates.

The state has the highest personal income tax rate for its wealthiest. It’s 9.3 percent for those making $53,000 to $269,000 and 13.3 percent for those making $1 million or more.

California has below-average property taxes due to Proposition 13, the famous 1978 measure that capped increases to no more than 2 percent a year. The Tax Foundation ranked California 35th in the nation …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business

      

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