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California has the highest taxes and ranks first in poverty

California leads the nation in many things, but that’s not always a good thing. After a historic year, raising billions in taxes on middle-class Californians, Sacramento has given us the country’s highest income tax, highest sales tax, highest vehicle tax and highest gas tax in the nation. As a result, California ranks first in poverty in the U.S.

California’s tax-happy culture is crippling ordinary people. One in five Californians live in poverty. More than a million people have moved away because the cost of living in California is just too expensive. These are teachers, carpenters and small business owners packing up and leaving. For a small business owner like myself, I am negotiating the death of my business every day when the Legislature is in session.

President Trump and Congress have proposed a plan to simplify the tax code in a way that will help middle-class families. I hope they follow through and deliver for Californians who desperately need a break. More than reducing taxes, Congress should simplify the process of paying taxes so small business owners and working people don’t have to spend hundreds of hours trying to comply with a rigged system.

The proposed tax plan will level the playing field for working class Americans by removing loopholes and deductions that only elites with tax savvy accountants can take advantage of. At the same time, it protects the middle-class by safeguarding incentives for homeowners’ mortgage interest, charitable donations, higher education and retirement.

It roughly doubles the standard deduction to ensure that employees can take home more of their hard earned money to pay for groceries, gas and essential items, instead of ineffective federal programs. It also increases the Child Tax Credit, giving relief to struggling families.

American companies have been handicapped with a 39 percent business tax while other modern countries enjoy a much lower rate. The proposed plan drops that tax rate to a competitive 20 percent, allowing American companies to employ more workers at better pay and compete in a global economy. The changes in the tax code should strongly encourage Silicon Valley technology companies with money in foreign offshore tax havens to bring that money home and invest in California jobs and infrastructure.

There are also options on the table now that also help small businesses get a boost. The reforms will reduce the maximum tax rate for small and family owned businesses, like my farm, to 25 percent.

This proposed tax reform isn’t just about businesses though, it’s about people. It balances reforms with tax relief for ordinary Americans. California is a high tax state and the impacts of that can be seen everywhere. Because we have some of the highest taxes in the nation, Californians have a lot at stake in the current debate in Washington. As a Republican in the Legislature, I have consistently voted against higher and more complicated regulations. It is my hope that the President and Congress are successful in their efforts. We need all the help we can get.

7 thoughts on “California has the highest taxes and ranks first in poverty

  • Brian, well written opinion, however what happens in Washington will have no impact on the state taxes in California. The problem with California is not in Washington. It is located in Sacramento at the governor’s mansion. Prompt removal of Jerry Brown and those that surround him is only the beginning of what may hopefully save that state. It is too bad, because as a person who grew up in California and know how great it could be, I know it will never be what it once was.

    California used to be a place where you could raise a family. Now, you have politicians trying to pass bills saying you can’t call a boy a boy and a girl a girl. The economy used to thrive out there and the quality of life was amazing. Now, most can barely pay bills and California has the third highest per-capita spending on welfare at $179 per person. That is almost double the national average. California spends more than 40% of its budget on education and its schools are 41st in the nation.

    I agree that what our president is proposing is great for economic growth, but unless California politicians and leaders get on board, it will mean nothing for what once was a great state.

    • Chris Herrbach…I feel much better after reading your comment. At least you know and express what most of us are concerned about. Several people I know have already left this state because of the direction the State Government has taken.

      The whole flippin’ bunch in Sacramento must have dropped too much enlightenment in the 60s and 70s.

    • Bravo!

  • I moved from Quincy to western NY. The taxes here are higher. The sales tax is more, the property tax is extremely high. For a home valued at around 350,000 you will pay between $8,000 to 12,000 depending what town you live in. But the roads are plowed often.

  • Taxes should be directed at things that are unhealthy or not safe for society. The money should be spent on things that are good for society. The debate is what is good and what is bad. I believe there can be common sense but too often that “common” sense is wrong. Mass mentality is low IQ.

  • all of our closest friends have left California, and numerous others not so close friends of ours have left. Others want to leave. The madness of the Neo-Marxist Radical Democrats have a “Super MAjority” and are passing insane law after law.
    -beginning with a law regulating cow farts. Google it.
    But it far worse with more taxes, sanctuary state, giving felons in prison the vote, and on and on.
    While roads and infrastructure are falling into disrepair, BILLIONS are spent on illegals to feed, house, and give medical care.. AND they can even vote!

  • As for tax burden, California ranked 10th out of the 50 states in 2017 (e.g. https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-highest-lowest-tax-burden/20494/), and as for poverty rate, it is quite in the middle of the pack (this depends on how we measure poverty rate, see e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_poverty_rate).
    So sad we have all these Trump ideologues who do not give a damn on facts, but just keep parroting some failed neoliberal cliches.

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