Is California overtaxed?

February 22, 2013
Jon Coupal

Jon Coupal

President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Jon Coupal spoke before San Luis Obispo property and business owners Thursday about the level of taxation they face in California and how it may continue to increase.

Speaking at the San Luis Obispo Property and Business Owners’ Association luncheon, Coupal discussed the California tax increases resulting from the passage of Proposition 30, as well as the current threats to Proposition 13.

“We now have by far and away the highest income tax rate in America, and we have the highest sales tax rate,” Coupal said. “This is a very hostile place to live if you are a taxpayer or a business.”

California voters approved Proposition 30  by a margin of more than 10 percent. San Luis Obispo County voters also approved of the measure by a nearly 8 percent margin.

Just as Proposition 30 proponents used education funding to gain support for new taxes, Coupal said potential tax dollars for schools serve as a threat to taxpayers who wish to keep the proposition’s two-thirds vote requirements intact.

“If a school district is to put a parcel tax on the ballot, they need a two-thirds vote,” Coupal said. “If we lose a two-thirds vote at the local level for parcel taxes, I think property taxes in California will explode.”

During Tuesday’s San Luis Coastal school board meeting, one trustee pled for a lowering of the threshold on parcel taxes to 55 percent as a way to combat the growing district deficit.

Coupal said the current Democratic super majority in the California legislature may move forward with similar proposals that “chip away” at the tax suppressions built into Proposition 13.

Founder of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Howard Jarvis, authored Proposition 13, which passed with more than 60 percent of the vote in 1978.


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California State Franchise Tax Board to meet Tuesady about raising gas taxes. We drove less, their revenue didn’t meet expectations so they want to raise tax.

It seems pretty easy to fix, quit spending our money and rethink the budget.

I think Prop 42 will be cited. The proposed increase is a result of the State looking back two years and determining that expected revenues did not materialize. Mainly this is for road repair and public transportation. What was promised to various political subdivisions should be reviewed fro appropriateness today. Can we tighten out belt in some of these projects?

It’s not easy AT ALL. Look to your right… look to your left… chances are both of those people DEPEND on the government hand-outs in some way. People WILL NOT want *their* benies taken away! Why, they earned it or deserve it!

We have far too many addicts for the government to grow a brain and dump their current economic/budgeting models. Unfortunately. :(

A simple solution is to escape the horror of California and emigrate to the lovely state of Texas. Enjoy.

hey, look in the news this morning, State Franchise Tax board wants to raise their tax on gasoline becasue we all drove less and now they can’t meet their budget

“Is California Overtaxed?”

Overtaxed? Yes

Over Spending? Yes

Over Regulated? Yes

A hostile regulatory environment, coupled with high taxes, has served to drive out industry and other businesses. This contributes significantly to reduced revenues that leaves the state with unfunded/underfunded programs and mandates. Rather than create a business friendly environment, Sacramento chooses to further exacerbate the problem by increasing taxes even more.

That flushing sound you are hearing in the background is California heading down the toilet.

Maybe the federal government could sell California to the Chinese in exchange for federal& state debt forgiveness.

The right wing nut jobs are afraid of pragmatism emanating from our state. The fruit loops that populate the t-party appear as stilted as the sheet-draped klan that they are.

This opinion can only emanate from a recipient of governmental largess, NOT from a payer for same.

going forward we should all have to submit demographics so there would be no guessing ;>)

Funny, my experience dealing with the county assessor’s office was the complete opposite of yours. I provided them with three recent comps and they reduced my assessed value even lower than I requested. This resulted in my tax bill going down significantly.

If they really used such bad comps for your assessment, there is a formal appeal process. Did you try it?

California’s excessive taxation and liberal control is our population control relief valve. The state economy will continue to shrink. Too bad for the working producers of this state. For those who want to stay here, find a job in government.

There is no way there could ever be enough money to satisfy the liberal legislature. They will take, and waste all the voters will give them. For those of you who want to do away with prop 13 watch out what you wish for. Then everyone will pay much more especially seniors who live on fixed incomes. Oh I thought liberals were supposed to help them. Guess not

What is this “liberal legislature” you speak of? As a liberal, I have to ask the question of exactly what do you mean by “liberal”? Have there been any bills passed that would provide for healthcare for all? Any bills to eliminate homelessness? Bills to take care of those with mental health issues? Bills to protect workers rights?

It is real easy to claim that because we have a Democratic majority that the entire legislature is “liberal”, but far too many Democrats have no interest in a “liberal” agenda. Far too many who get into politics are looking out for themselves first, their friends and supporters next, those who voted for them next, and the rest of us last. Unless you can point to bills that have actually been passed that have a real liberal slant to them, you are simply blustering with the same old tired talking points about “liberals”. How about some facts?

Bob, I guess you would have us believe governor moonbeam and the CA legislature is not liberal. LOL Tax increases to pay pay for all of the government programs we already have including a third of every person in the country on food stamps. Unabated spending of schools that produce bad results. Rampant illegal immigration that costs the state billions each year. Public employees unions that get everything they want. Rampant voter fraud. There is no more money for anything and the more you liberals tax the less your gonna get. Bob that’s the liberal way.

Finewine, could you come up with any more unsubstantiated “facts” to support your rant? Maybe the legislature is also donating to the “Friends of Hamas”. Just because they spout it on the AM dial doesn’t make it true.

I guess cat you forgot about prop 30 that made us the highest taxed state. Or look at this article even from the left wing HuffPo and the left leaning la times:,0,7313912.htmlstory. (even before prop 30). and here is another . I guess I have to spell it out for all the liberals.

Worse, bob would have us believe that simply passing a “bill” will eliminate a problem. Now THAT is liberalism of the progressive kind. Not the “original” liberal, of the liberty kind. So sad.

is getting your bill passed comparable to “publish or perish” for a researcher? would that explain some of the foolishness? notches on a tinhorn’s pistol?

I’m trying to understand your reasoning and logic; apparently in your world, any tax increase is the fault of “liberals”, period? Food stamps are a FEDERAL program, run through the Department of Agriculture; if you believe that there is rampant fraud and abuse going on there, contact the offices of Lois Capps, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein. The spending by school districts is still not controlled to any degree where there is any requirement for school administrations to have to with less, so there are usually no cuts in administration, but cuts are made in programs and staffing levels at the schools themselves. Illegal immigration is down due to President Obama increasing the budget for the Boarder Patrol and Immigration Departments, in fact, we are currently experiencing a “net-negative” in illegal boarder crossings. Public employee unions have had it too cushy for some time now, but even they see the handwriting on the wall and concessions have already been made with more to come. Rampant voter fraud; really? WRONG; unless you care to provide a link to an actual news story reported by an actual news reporting agency, your assertion is simply wishful thinking. The gulf states tax the off shore oil wells, but California does not; are you sure that there “is no more money”? Perhaps you are wrong on every single assertion you brought up; it wouldn’t surprise me.

LOL Bob, don’t blame the liberals in charge of CALI. Keep drinking that Kool Aid. I guess you couldn’t read the links. Here are a few voter fraud links since you can’t figure out how to look yourself.

Your links are hilarious; you consider those “actual” news? Just because someone starts a website and embeds links to real news organizations does not make their site “real news”. Again, do you have “real” reporting by a “real” news organization to back up your assertions? Both of your links are very lame, unprofessional, attempting to spew an agenda, not a honest reporting of actual facts, IMO. Good luck finding real reporting.

Bob – you are right in many aspects of your argument. We conservative folks equate tax increases with liberal politicians. While liberals corner the market on spending, it is not a liberal concept. Both parties seem to enjoy this incestuous relationship with business and labor. California keeps voting the same political hacks into office due to ignorance. No matter what political philosophy you have, your representative in Sacramento, after a few year in office, (with the exception of a few) doesn’t give a whack about those who vote for him. Where you are wrong, is illegal immigration. Although the current administration has been more aggressive than the last on border enforcement, I believe it is the economy that has reduce the southern border crossings to almost zero. Hopefully any new immigration law from Washington has a mandatory legal status employer verification mechanism before we give a pass to those illegals that are here now. Otherwise, we’ll just be repeating this episode like we did in 1996 with Reagan.

Russ: While I appreciate your even tempered response, why can’t conservatives give President Obama any credit for anything positive? Our Border Patrol and Immigration Department have both been beefed up, the security is improved, illegal crossings are down; why can’t any of you give the man some credit?

As for the rest of your response; the main problem with our legislature in California used to be the entrenched, lifelong politicians, running things like a fiefdom. Now the problem is just the opposite; the elected officials barely have learned where all the levers and switches are before they are term limited out of office. The result is that we have non-elected bureaucrats and lobbyists educating the legislators on how to do their job; do you think that just maybe both of those groups may have an agenda to try to bend the lawmaker towards?

In addition, we have a bunch of corrupt and greedy county tax collectors doing all they can to get every dollar out of SLO county residents. I was told my house was worth $100K more than I could actually sell it for. Understand that all property values took a hit, but Los Osos took a bigger hit (can you guess why?). I got an appraisal when I refinanced my house. The bozos at the county were trying to tell me that their computer program used to calculate property values (with no one actually looking at my house) was more valid than the appraisal I paid $400 to spend an hour on my property measuring things and taking pictures. In the end, I found out that the county was comparing my house to houses with more bedrooms and more bathrooms. There is no way this level of dishonestly could have been anything but intentional. In addition, the county people in charge of doing appraisal were total arrogant dickwads.

From my experience, it’s obvious the county is more than willing to inflate your home’s actual value in order to increase their tax revenue. My suggestion for everyone is to take a close look at what the county appraised your home for and to be familiar with your local housing market. The county is out to make money; they’re not there to do you any favors.

Funny, my experience dealing with the county assessor’s office was the complete opposite of yours. I provided them with three recent comps and they reduced my assessed value even lower than I requested. This resulted in my tax bill going down significantly.

If they really used such bad comps for your assessment, there is a formal appeal process. Did you try it?

Great to hear you had an easy process. The point it that you can’t trust the county government. I’m sure they jacked the appraisals of all SLO county properties, then immediately caved in when a few people actually looked at their bills and went through the trouble of finding comps. What percentage of people actually appealed? Probably relatively few. A better approach for the county would be to make honest appraisals in the first place, but that would mean less revenue for the county. The county people know what they’re doing, and it’s obvious that what they’re doing is not ethical.