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View Diary: California's Succeeding Despite Antitax Hurdles (105 comments)

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  •  It's time to introduce some numbers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karmsy, Zornorph, Lujane, Sparhawk

    and whittle down the diary.

    California’s chronic deficits aren’t the fault of out of control spending, as conservatives would have you believe. Quite the contrary, it’s inefficient and poorly planned taxation that produces frequent fiscal crises

    Of all the states in the union, California has the 6th highest tax burden,  which accounts for both state and local taxes.

    California has a 9.3 percent marginal tax rate, a 9 percent sales tax, and property taxes are still high because even though 1 percent may not seem high too you,  the property values in California are so high that 1 percent is still a lot.

    Seeing that 44 states in the Union have lower tax rates and a less fiscal problems, the problem isn't we have low taxes.

    A good point that the diarist made is that income and capital gains taxes are more volatile. That's why  during boom years the government of the state of California shouldn't spend all the money it gets, but put it in an emergency fund so it can be dipped in to when we have recessions.
    In the late 90's when the  economy of the California was booming, Gray Davis jacked up spending instead of saving the money in a prudent way. The Terminator did the same thing in 2003-2007. so it's bipartisan idiocy.

    California doesn't need out of state agitators telling us what our tax rates should be.  There's a reason why our current Democratic governor said he will not raise taxes without voter assent.
    The people decide, not the politicians.

    •  I don't buy all this (16+ / 0-)

      First of all California has progressive taxes, they max out at 9%, but not all tax payers pay that much.  Most don't even at their highest marginal rate.

      Localities have different sales tax rates and from my experience most are in the 7% range.  Some few are higher and almost none are at 9%

      Californians pay a higher per capita amount, but things are expensive here in California.  You can't run a government here as if you live in the Midwest.

      Schools are vastly underfunded.  We have one of the lowest expenditures per pupil in the country.  47th in the country.

      There is probably way too much devoted to prisons, but that is a function of the huge number of prisoners we have.  and the ungodly sentences handed out.  

      The problem with Prop 13 and the other Jarvis laws is that people do not decide on their taxes.  At least not by majority vote.  Here you have to have a super majority and that means that about 1/3 of the voting people in this state can stop any attempt to fix the problems of underfunded schools.  The same is true in the legislature.  1/3 of the legislatures can stymie the other 2/3.  It happens all the time.

      I think this is a much more mixed bag that you set out here freedomalliance.

      •  Exactly. It is absurd to compare California to (6+ / 0-)

        Oklahoma. We have an entirely different set of requirements and tax structures, as a result of being a vastly larger state.

      •  Yawn (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You didn't actually read the link

        Californians pay a higher per capita amount, but things are expensive here in California.  You can't run a government here as if you live in the Midwest.
        The tax burden was ranked as a percentage of income, not per capita, so that already incorporates the cost of living.

        "Most don't even at their highest marginal rate."

        The 9.3 percent rate in California starts at $50,000 for single folks and $100,000 for couples. That's a pretty steep rate and  for a low amount of income.
        In Hawaii, the 9 percent rate starts at 150k for singles

        In San Fran and LA County, the sales tax rate is 8.75 percent.

        Again, the proof is in the pudding, even with our supposed low "tax rates" California is 6th in taxes.

        And you are incorrect on taxes. 51 percent of people can increase taxes on a statewide level, and you can also eliminate the 2/3 rule for localities and the legislature with a vote of the state
        It has been soundly rejected by the people.

        •  6th in taxes according to the right-wing Tax (5+ / 0-)

          Foundation, which doesn't include the huge amount of revenues lost due to Prop 13.

          The proof is in the pudding -- California lacks the revenue to run a functioning state, ranked 47th in education spending per pupil.

        •  It takes 2/3 to increase a local (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CupofJoe, LillithMc, lonespark, laurak

          property tax to support a local school district, fire department, library, etc. Income, sales, and hotel bed taxes can be increased by 51%. These measures fail with support of 60%, 63%, and 65% of the voters every year.

          The playing field is tilted in favor of people & corporations that own real estate, and against wage-earners and consumers.

          Decisions made by a "vote of the people" are good in theory, but the state's initiative system allows millionaires to easily buy enough signatures to put competing/confusing initiatives on the ballot, and then flood the airwaves with enough bushlit to prevent passage.

          Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot. What if Californians could increase a property tax with 51%, but it took 67% to increase a sales tax?

          The property owners would be screaming to give that taxing power back to the legislature.

          Have you noticed?
          Politicians who promise LESS government
          only deliver BAD government.

          by jjohnjj on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:35:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  nailed it with (9+ / 0-)
        There is probably way too much devoted to prisons, but that is a function of the huge number of prisoners we have.  and the ungodly sentences handed out.  
        well. part of "it", anyway.  CA's prison/'justice' system is a nightmare.

        jesus is coming, buddha here now

        by bnasley on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:14:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The income tax is barely graduated... (4+ / 0-)

        I would say it's barely even progressive because the higher rates are phased in so fast.  A lot of people in CA end up paying the full amount of income tax, not just doctors and lawyers, but even some less distinguished jobs like secretaries and teachers.  

        I'm fine with raising the top rate, but you need to phase it in more gradually.  Go ahead and tax someone making over a million per year at 18% rate, and someone making more than 500K at 14%, but the 9% rate shouldn't even kick in until around $100K.  

    •  Ridiculous (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My sales tax in Lake County is at 7.25% Freedom isn't free, you know.

      "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

      by Crider on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:14:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Read the diary. I address the Tax Foundation. The (9+ / 0-)

      property tax data is highly misleading, as reappraisals are banned.

      By the way, the Tax Foundation is a product of the conservative antitax revolution. And I am not an "out-of-state agitator," I am from the region with the highest property taxes in the state (Marin County).

      •  Who cares (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freedomalliance, lonespark

        It provides correct data, does it not? Do you have a more accurate source somewhere we should be looking at?

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:58:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, it doesn't provide the correct data. Not evenc (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:


          •  Where is it incorrect? (0+ / 0-)

            And what's your proof?

            •  You inherently can't measure what our property (0+ / 0-)

              taxes should be without reappraisals. So we really cannot know how much revenue we aren't collecting.

              What the Tax Foundation does is talk about per capita property tax collection. Which is all well and good, but they rank California in the middle of the pack in terms of property tax collection. That's absurd. California has the highest property values in the country. It shouldn't be ranked in the middle, it should be on top. Property tax is progressive-- and can be made more so.

              Right now it's terribly regressive, as normal Californians are forced to shoulder higher income and sales taxes to cover the lost revenue.

              •  What the link measured is (0+ / 0-)

                the total amount of revenue that  the state of California and all local counties collect in taxes regardless of source. And then  it divided that revenue by the income that the state produces annually.

                What the property tax base is irrelevant, since all the link is talking about is the total revenue collected by the state of California and it's subsidiaries.

                And one again, California is #6 when it comes to taxes. The people of California don't want their taxes to go up.
                Conservation over, since you didn't take the time to read anything I wrote or linked to.

    •  Oil depletion tax (1+ / 0-)
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      California is the only place in the world without an oil depletion tax.  There are generous tax breaks for corporations.  The people of CA pay taxes.  The state has received a "D" for management for the past 50 years.

      •  States/countries (0+ / 0-)

        with oil depletion taxes tend to be those  that are net exporters of oil which makes sense.

        So when Alaska has oil depletion taxes, they're effectively raising revenue from everyone else.

        California is a net importer of oil, so an oil depletion tax would basically just raise the cost of gas for it's own citizens, which most Californians won't find fun since California already has the second highest gas tax and one of the highest sales taxes in the country.

        The people rejected an oil depletion tax in 2006. Look it up.

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