Tax hikes coming for Californians anyway

posted at 1:38 pm on August 27, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Californians must have thought they’d sent a loud and clear message to Sacramento in May when they rejected a series of referendums that would have approved tax hikes to solve their budget crisis.  The only ballot initiative approved cut off legislators’ pay when they failed to produce a budget, in what should have been a sign that the Golden State electorate had had enough.  The political class in the state capital apparently has their fingers stuck firmly in their ears:

While Californians are still feeling the sting of income and sales tax hikes signed into law earlier this year, now comes news that state tax authorities plan to take a little more from their pockets.

For only the second time in 30 years, the tax board is lowering the point where each tax bracket begins, bumping many people into a higher category. At the same time, officials are cutting back some deductions. Everyone will pay more, even people whose bracket or income doesn’t change.

The extra sums will total as much as $140 per family, on top of the increases previously enacted.

You’ll love the excuse:

Officials said the latest adjustments have been triggered by inflation, or rather the lack of it. This year, the state’s inflation index was a negative numberfor the first time since 1983. When the economy takes a deep plunge, so do tax brackets.

Er, what?  If deflation occurs, then buying power of existing dollars goes up, at least in the short term.  Strictly speaking, that should require less tax revenue as costs decline for the state.  Instead, as people make less, they get taxed more.

How does this affect tax brackets?

Under the latest changes, for a married couple filing jointly, the top tax rate of 9.55% now begins at $92,698, down from $94,110. Combined with the earlier increases, such a couple with two children, earning $100,000, will see their California income tax bill rise by 22.3%, or $716, according to the state Franchise Tax Board. Their tax would go from $3,208 to $3,924, factoring in a $110 drop in the standard deduction for joint returns.

For singles, the top tax threshold has dropped from $47,055 to $46,349. This year, a single filer without children who earned $30,000 in 2008 and 2009 would pay 13.8% more: $617 instead of $542. The standard deduction for sole filers will fall by $55.

But for sheer cluelessness, you have to love this:

Not everyone minds paying more to protect such services as education, healthcare and parks, though.

An extra $100 or so, said Sharon Sugerman, a 59-year-old Sacramento resident who declined to give details about her job, “seems pretty reasonable to me.”

Do you wonder why Sugerman didn’t want to give her job details?  It appears that Sugerman works for the California Department of Health, which took me all of ten seconds to discover on Google.  She might have a personal interest in seeing tax hikes enacted, and it’s not about keeping parks open.

The rest of California employed outside of government disagrees, as they made clear in May.  Maybe they should find representatives that will take their fingers out of their ears and actually listen to their constituents.


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Once folks start to realize that a motel stay is cheaper than a state park, this little rate hike scheme of theirs will ultimately fail as miserably as all the rest.

The Ugly American on August 27, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Democrats don’t believe in the law of supply and demand, tney believe you can increase the price of things through taxation or through government fiat (e.g. minimum wage increases) and it won’t affect demand.

Democrats believe this because they are idiots. It’s very simple.

Democrats are simpletons.

NoDonkey on August 27, 2009 at 3:52 PM

The California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation is too big to fail. http://www.bhfti.ca.gov/

Lou Budvis on August 27, 2009 at 3:53 PM

It seems the people that used to live there voted this in a few years ago.Tied it to the inflation rate.Inflation down,rates up.The legislature can’t be blamed like Congress won’t be when the Bush tax cuts expire.Pretty slick.O/T but Toyota is closing the last auto assembly plant in Cali,with the trickle down included,30,000 jobs gone.

docflash on August 27, 2009 at 4:03 PM

This used to be such a beautiful state…………

……….. now it’s a bureaucratic bloated, union controlled, social engineered, leftist paradise for illegal aliens.

Time to start over…….

Seven Percent Solution on August 27, 2009 at 4:15 PM

How many times must they be kicked in the crotch before they react?

Army Brat on August 27, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Three cheers for big government:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO2eh6f5Go0&feature=popt00us06
Tim Hawkins is the man!

jgapinoy on August 27, 2009 at 4:42 PM

California born, and don’t much care for the desert, but Arizona and Nevada are looking better every day.

Dog bites on August 27, 2009 at 4:42 PM

No comprende!!!

chickasaw42 on August 27, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Just give me benevolent dictatorial power in Cali for 2 years.

jimmy2shoes on August 27, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Just give me benevolent dictatorial power in Cali for 2 years.

jimmy2shoes on August 27, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Not quick enough.

Just give me a couple of million rounds of ammunition and a few weeks.

Holger on August 27, 2009 at 4:50 PM

California born, and don’t much care for the desert, but Arizona and Nevada are looking better every day.

Dog bites on August 27, 2009 at 4:42 PM

I grew up in the Bay Area and left the People’s Republic of Kalifornia in 1993 and haven’t looked back!

Dog Bites, I will welcome you with open arms and a cold beer here in AZ if you decide to move, but on one condition, you don’t bring any liberals with you!

Liberty or Death on August 27, 2009 at 4:52 PM

However, we want to start our own family, and it’s becoming increasingly clear this is the last place to have a family, run a business, or do anything except a) suck from the public teat or b) make movies and sneer at the unwashed.

evergreen on August 27, 2009 at 3:30 PM

Absolutely, I wouldn’t raise a kid in Kali! I grew up in the Bay Area (NoCal) and moved to AZ in 1993 and have no regrets, not one bit!

Oh, and your A and B examples decribes The People’s Republic of Kalifornia perfectly!

Liberty or Death on August 27, 2009 at 4:56 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO2eh6f5Go0

Obama’s theme song?

jimmy2shoes on August 27, 2009 at 4:58 PM

California born, and don’t much care for the desert, but Arizona and Nevada are looking better every day.
Dog bites on August 27, 2009 at 4:42 PM

You will love Arizona. I plan to move back there again as soon as son #2 graduates from H.S. We lived in Tucson for 7 years but came back for family issues.

My brother, born and raised California as well just moved to Cave Creek, north Scottsdale.

California is gorgeous, it is home but the idiots are pushing the good people away.

FireBlogger on August 27, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Mmmmmm…more taxes
Can’t wait…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….to get outta here

Dog Bites, I will welcome you with open arms and a cold beer here in AZ if you decide to move, but on one condition, you don’t bring any liberals with you!

Liberty or Death on August 27, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Can I come too? Please, Please

macncheez on August 27, 2009 at 5:06 PM

So am I to understand that once liberals have effectively ruined California by creating a welfare state and by welcoming illegal aliens, most of them will relocate to nearby states to introduce the same type of thinking that will ruin those states too?

I guess that’s one way to ruin a country.

BuckeyeSam on August 27, 2009 at 3:31 PM

Are you responding to me? Because my husband and I are no kind of liberal. His family, too, are conservative libertarians. We’re leaving in protest.

Think of it this way: The conservatives fleeing California can help to bolster red states on the verge of going blue. You should be bowling for Californian refugees if you live in a swing state.

evergreen on August 27, 2009 at 6:02 PM

“Now comes news that state tax authorities….”
“the tax board is lowering…”
“officials are cutting back some deductions…”
“Officials said the latest adjustments have been triggered by…”

Why isn’t anyone naming them?

Names. Addresses. Phone numbers. Fax, e-mail. We should be doing everything to personalize this and find actual targets for expressing how we feel about this.

Alexander on August 27, 2009 at 6:05 PM

It’s not helping that the West Coast Newspaper of Record is so far in the tank that its reporter will print a quote like that and intentionally disguise the speaker’s connection to the State. We’ll meet up with all of you when we come west from here in Illinois, the real motto of which is “A Fully Owned Subsidiary of the AFL-CIO”.

Hucklebuck on August 27, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Born and raised in the Bay Area – left in 1994. Went into a total depression, for about 5 minutes. Now have two homes, one in Texas and another up near the highline on the Canadian border. When it’s too hot in Texas to breathe, I can go north and enjoy a lovely summer. There is life in other places and if you don’t try to steamroll over their values, they do welcome and help you prosper.

When you start finding excuses not to return to CA for family functions or just to visit, you know you’re over the hump. We were raised to think there was no place like it. There isn’t. But, there are wonderful people out there and that’s all that matters.

24K lady on August 27, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Help! I’m stationed in the military here and my family can’t leave!

The state sent us two bills to for taxes owed on what they thought we “could” have earned as professionals if we had worked here. They demanded documentation proving that we didn’t work or they would audit us. What arrogance.

I wrote on the form “bring it,” signed it and sent it back.

Poljax on August 27, 2009 at 7:30 PM

Is there a record for the number of incumbents thrown out in a single election?
I think it’s going to get broke.

Gwillie on August 27, 2009 at 8:22 PM

I am SO glad that I did not move my family to California when we escaped Colorado. Glad we came to Texas instead. With the liberals running things they will never come out of the mess they are in. Too bad my wife’s family lives out there. I feel sorry for them.

MeAlice on August 27, 2009 at 9:00 PM

Just give me benevolent dictatorial power in Cali for 2 years.

jimmy2shoes on August 27, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Not quick enough.

Just give me a couple of million rounds of ammunition and a few weeks.

Holger on August 27, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Still not quick enough!

Give me an Aircraft Carrier with a squadron of B2-Spirits and about 10 days. The bastards in Sacramento will wave a white flag faster than Col. Moammar Khadafy did after Ronald Reagan got after him.

Better yet.. give me a few nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and I’ll put Sacramento, San Franfreako, and the City of Lost Angels, out of their collective misery in under 10 minutes.

Mahdi on August 27, 2009 at 9:08 PM

They demanded documentation proving that we didn’t work or they would audit us. What arrogance.

I wrote on the form “bring it,” signed it and sent it back.

Poljax on August 27, 2009 at 7:30 PM

They need your taxes because there are people who are doing the jobs Americans won’t do

http://images.buzznet.com/assets/users7/amethyst23/default/gallery-msg-1116042867-2.jpg

macncheez on August 27, 2009 at 9:33 PM

This is the best idea I have heard for years . with a few more tax hikes Califa will become a State of Mexico . Dope submariners in lake Tahoe , jung latina putas , jung , really jung putas in the South Lake casinos . The border will be the length of Califa rather than its width . Yo Ho yo ho , it’s a pirates life for me .

borntoraisehogs on August 27, 2009 at 11:05 PM

My heart aches for you all out there on the Left Coast. I’m a California native, but five years ago, my husband and I saw this coming and sold our home, leaving skidmarks on the border and settled in southwest New Mexico.

Take your state back! Vote out every liberal incumbent in the next several elections, especially that goofy Nancy Pelosi!…geesh!

StarLady on August 28, 2009 at 12:16 AM

Help!

I’m still here in California (La Mirada) and can’t get out!

I need “First Alert.”

Joe Pyne on August 28, 2009 at 2:31 AM

California born, and don’t much care for the desert, but Arizona and Nevada are looking better every day.

Dog bites on August 27, 2009 at 4:42 PM

I moved my family out of California in 06… You wouldn’t believe how the people of other states cringe when they hear the word “California.” If you relocate, get the Ca. plates off your vehicle ASAP, and don’t mention the word California unless you absolutely must! Both of my boys learned this the hard way at their schools.

Keemo on August 28, 2009 at 7:56 AM

Vote sh!t in….get sh!t out.

Well…what do you expect when you’ve got brain dead Californians voting in other brain dead Californians. This woman should run for office: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJZsVbCu4Hk

CEA_Agent on August 28, 2009 at 9:09 AM

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