California is taxed enough without Republican tax reform

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We received feedback that was critical of Jon Coupal’s pro-GOP tax reform column posted here on Monday, so we hereby post the opposite view which has also been expressed by three California members of Congress — Dana Rohrabacher and Darrell Issa from Orange County, and Tom McClintock from Northern California. You can read Rep. McClintock’s comments here.]

Carolyn CaveccheBy Carolyn Cavecche | The House of Representatives has passed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, by a vote of 227-205. Now it’s up to the Senate to pass its version, then both chambers will have to reconcile the differences in their plans. There are a few things California taxpayers can like in what the House passed, like the elimination Commercial Bouncy Castles for Sale of the Alternate Minimum Tax, but there is also quite a bit to hate. Californians do not need to be reminded that we are already over taxed; that we have the highest sales tax in the nation; that our personal income tax has the highest top rate in the nation; or that we have the highest corporate income tax in the West. We are a close second to Pennsylvania on who pays the highest gas tax in the nation, although if you add on the cost of our cap-and-trade program it does put us over the top. Our property tax rates have been stabilized thanks to Proposition 13, but there is an effort underway to dismantle that as well.

We also pay our way at the federal level; don’t buy into the myth that California is being subsidized by other states. California is one of 11 states that receives less than what it pays in federal taxes and yet California taxpayers make our state number nine in what we pay per person in federal taxes. And, with passage of this tax plan, it is only going to get worse. An analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy states that California taxpayers will see a net tax increase of $12.1 billion in 2027 alone. Their study shows that the states hit the hardest by this plan, California, New York, New Jersey and Maryland will face tax increases to “partly fund the tax cuts flowing to other parts of the country.”

When you hear someone from D.C. say that this plan is going to lower taxes for the middle class, don’t be confused into thinking they mean the middle class in California where a family of four from Orange County making $84,450 a year now qualify as low income. Middle class is a relative term.

To read this entire commentary in the Orange County Register, please click here.

[Carolyn Cavecche is CEO and president of the Orange County Taxpayers Association.]

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