Happy Tax Freedom Day California! We have the privilege of being one of the states whose taxpayers have to work the longest to pay their total tax bill for the year. Only taxpayers in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York have to work longer. The taxpayers of Louisiana had the lowest average tax burden in 2014. Their Tax Freedom Day was a month ago, on March 30th.
We have all stopped being surprised at how badly California does in tax and business rankings nationally, but on this day of celebration we thought we might review how bad it actually is.
With a 7.5% state general sales and use tax, we have the highest Sales Tax in the nation.
As of today we have the highest Gasoline Tax in the nation. On July 1st with a 3.5 cents-a-gallon decrease recently approved by the BOE we will move to the second highest. Yay for us.
Our average price per gallon is at #2 just below Hawaii.
Our Personal Income Tax is the highest in the nation.
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council recently came out with its Small Business Tax Index of 2014 and ranked CA as dead last, #50 out of 50.
24/7 Wall St ranks California as the worst run state in the U.S.
A Kiplinger study ranks CA as the worst state to retire in.
The bottom 10 States in Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, “suffer from the same affliction; of complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates.” California is at #48.
Our long term liabilities, including unemployment insurance debt, unfunded retirement liabilities, unissued bonds, deferred maintenance, and what Gov. Brown calls our wall of debt now totals over $350 billion. That’s money the State will need to find somewhere.
We are the only state in the nation to charge a cap and trade tax. Next year those of us who drive cars will be hit with this one.
Our country’s top CEOs continue to rank California as “the worst state in which to do business year after year according to cheifexecutive.net.
And even with embattled Proposition 13 in place, Tax Foundation ranks us as having the 19th highest property taxes nationally. As of 2013 property taxes in California were $1,426 per capita. Is it no wonder that OCTax is firm in its support of Proposition 13 and will continue to oppose any attempt at undermining its value to the taxpayers of California? Not being #1 in property tax rankings is not a bad place for California to be.
By Carolyn Cavecche, President & CEO of Orange County Taxpayers Association