The California state government is planning large budget surpluses. In January, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state expected a surplus of $45.7 billion. Yet once again, state lawmakers introduced legislation to raise taxes and fees by a combined $190 billion. More revenue is obviously never enough for politicians in Sacramento. It’s time for them to learn to spend within their means.
The $190 billion figure comes from the California Tax Foundation’s “Tax and Fee” report, released earlier this month. For context, the proposed increases in taxes and fees come against the backdrop of significant year-over-year increases in state spending.
“The state budget for 2021-22 included $257.6 billion in total spending — a 13% increase from the previous year — and the governor’s proposed budget for 2022-23 calls for another major increase, to $286.4 billion,” the report noted.
Although they could spend tens of billions of dollars more per year, state lawmakers still want more money to gamble with.
Obviously, the most significant of the tax proposals is by far tied to the now-dead single-payer health care plan proposed by the Sacramento Progressives.
Taken together, Assembly Bill 1400 and Assembly Constitutional Amendment 11 called for a $163 billion tax increase, “through the imposition of a gross receipts tax, a payroll tax for employers and employees and a personal tax increase for those with incomes over $149,509.”
Then there’s Assembly Bill 2289 and Assembly Constitutional Amendment 8, which would impose a wealth tax of more than $22 billion a year. CalTax notes that under these proposals, “California would become the only state to impose such a tax on art, collectibles, retirement funds, farm assets, stocks, and many other assets.”
Then there’s Assembly Bill 2802 that would impose a carbon tax that would hit California taxpayers $5 billion to $10 billion a year.
Then there are the proposals to make it easier to raise local government taxes (Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1) and to impose a tax on guns (Assembly Bill 1223).
Then there is the litany of fee increases proposed in dozens of pieces of legislation. For more information, we encourage readers to visit caltax.org to review the report itself.
We also strongly encourage taxpayers to reach out to their elected representatives and make it clear to lawmakers about the endless wave of tax and fee increases.
It’s time for Sacramento to spend within its means and stop looking to plunder even more highly taxed Californians.