Can California Solve Its Love of Taxes?

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | I would like to see the elected officials of California address the state's current tax situation with determination in 2013. In doing so, I believe that many of the other issues plaguing the Golden State would be easier to resolve.

According to, California has the highest statewide sales tax rate in the nation, the second highest gasoline tax, the highest personal income tax and the state's corporate income tax is the highest of its western neighbors. (The state's voters passed Proposition 30, heralded by Gov. Jerry Brown, in November that raised the state sales tax by a quarter cent for four years and income tax for those making more than $250,000 for seven years.)

The national unemployment rate is hovering around 7.8 percent; California's unemployment rate is 9.8 percent. The situation varies by location across the state with The Hanford Sentinel reporting 14.4 percent in December. Hanford, located in Kings County, has an agricultural-based economy in the heart of the San Joaquin valley.

Could this high corporate tax rate be a deterrent to companies looking to relocate to or establish themselves in California? Could this be the reason for the higher than usual unemployment figures the state has routinely turned in? Some economists think so.

Other major issues, such as a crumbling infrastructure, crime, poverty and the poor performance in the educational system, could be addressed once the primary issue of taxation was resolved.

A statewide overhaul of California's tax system could be what the doctor ordered as far as the employment numbers are concerned, in turn providing more tax dollars for Sacramento to work with.

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