by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
For over six years, California has had a top marginal income-tax rate of 13.3 percent, the highest in the nation. About 150,000 households in a state of 40 million people now pay nearly half of the total annual state income tax.
The state legislature sold that confiscatory tax rate on the idea that it was a temporary fix and would eventually be phased out. No one believed that. California voters, about 40 percent of whom pay no state income taxes, naturally approved the extension of the high rate by an overwhelming margin.
California recently raised gas taxes by 40 percent and now has the second-highest gas taxes in the United States.
California has the ninth-highest combined state and local sales taxes in the country, but its state sales tax of 7.3 percent is America’s highest. As of April 1, California is now applying that high state sales tax to goods that residents buy online from out-of-state sellers.
In late 2017, the federal government capped state and local tax deductions at $10,000. For high earners in California, the change effectively almost doubled their state and local taxes. …
… Soon, even more of the Californian taxpayers who chip in to pay half of the state income taxes will flee in droves for low-tax or no-tax states.
What really irks California taxpayers are the shoddy public services that they receive in exchange for such burdensome taxes. California can be found near the bottom of state rankings for schools and infrastructure.