In a massive new tax plan, California Gov. Jerry Brown announced on Monday, December 5, that he wants to raise California’s sales tax and personal income tax rates.
Currently, the sales tax in California is the highest statutory sales tax rate in the United States. In most of Contra Costa County, the sales tax is 8.25 percent. In Concord, the rate is 8.75 percent.
Before July 1, 2011, the sales tax in most of Contra Costa was 9.25 percent. And Concord’s rate was 9.75 percent.
In his December 5 proposal, Gov. Brown said that he wants the sales tax to go up one-half percentage point, meaning that most Contra Costa residents would pay 8.75 percent. The Concord rate would become 9.25 percent.
Currently, California’s personal income tax rate has a top bracket of 9.3 percent. That top bracket applies to personal income over $46,767 per year. Only Hawaii has a higher top bracket: 11 percent. The Hawaii top bracket applies only to persons earning over $200,001 annually. (See www.taxadmin.org)
So, California has the nation’s highest sales tax and second highest top income tax bracket.
And Gov. Brown wants higher taxes!
Before asking California’s taxpayers for more money, Mr. Brown ought to consider that the official national unemployment rate is 8.6 percent while California’s unemployment rate is much higher — at 11.7 percent.
When people are overtaxed, they have less money for houses, cars, food, and other things. Excessive taxation depresses consumption, which accounts for two-thirds of the total demand for goods and services.
Mr. Brown should think about lowering taxes. This will give people more money to spend. And he should cut the state budget, allowing the more efficient private sector to replace what bloated government bureaucracies do at too high a cost.
In addition, Mr. Brown should cut California’s corporate tax rate to zero. Eliminating the tax burden on businesses would spur investment. If businesses invested more heavily in California, there would be more jobs in industry, agriculture, and construction.