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As we noted, California has the highest top marginal income-tax rate of 13.3 percent and the highest base sales tax rate of 7.5 percent. The state also deploys a corporate tax rate of 8.84 percent but now state Democrats Kevin McCarty and Phil Ting want a constitution amendment that would slap any company with an annual net income of $1 million or more with “an additional surcharge of 7 percent, or half their savings from the recent federal tax cut.” This “dumb” idea, as even the Sacramento Bee put it, was a response to the recent federal tax cut, which reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and reduced income taxes for most workers. It was not, however, the only response.
Under senate boss Kevin de Leon’s Protect California Taxpayers Act, Californians would pay their state income taxes as though they were a charitable donation, and therefore fully deductible. The money would go into a California Excellence Fund run by the treasurer’s office and then into the state budget. Assemblyman Kevin Kiley wants to allow Californians to deduct their full state tax liability on their state tax return. This has less chance of passing then de Leon’s scheme and likewise makes no reduction in the actual rate of income tax California workers pay. And now McCarty and Ting want to add a 7 percent surcharge to the corporate rate. And don’t forget the new $5.2 billion tax on gasoline, diesel and vehicles.
State politicians are afflicted with taxoholism, a mental condition that assumes high taxes are always a good thing, resists tax reductions of any kind at any level, and automatically responds to a tax cut with punitive surcharges. In California, taxoholism has reached epidemic proportions.