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ROI On Taxes

California may be the bluest of states, but Californians still don’t like taxes. A recent poll by UC Berkeley’s IGS and the Los Angeles Times found that more than 3 in every 5 respondents felt the state’s tax burden is too high. It’s a fair view. California’s income tax (with a top rate of 13.3%) and sales tax (7.25% plus local increments) are the highest in the nation.

The sting might be less acute if taxpayers got what they paid for. Alas.

WalletHub recently ranked U.S. states on taxpayer ROI: public service value provided per tax dollar. California sits at 47th (see below).

At the 21st Century Alliance, we support a progressive tax code. But when just 100,000 taxpayers (~0.3% of the state’s adult population) account for 40% of California’s income tax revenues, we need to know when to say when. These people will make or break our state budget. We need them to stay.

More importantly, California needs to do a much better job investing taxpayer dollars. Every week we’re pushing legislators to make sure they're focusing on solving our biggest problems like housing and education, working not for special interests but in the public interest.

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