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BOE Member George Runner

New Study Shows Californians Overtaxed

By every measure Californians are overtaxed. The latest proof comes from a Tax Foundation report showing that the average Californian’s tax burden worsened in 2010.

At a time when Californians could least afford it, our state and local tax burden was among the highest in the nation.

The Tax Foundation’s Annual State-Local Tax Burden Ranking estimates the average total tax burden for residents of each state. This method takes the point of view of the individual taxpayer, counting all taxes he or she pays, no matter to which state they are paid.

According to the report, Californians paid 11.2% of their income in state and local taxes in 2010—the fourth highest tax burden of any state. Only residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut paid more.

In 2010 the average California resident earned $43,919 but paid $4,934 in state and local taxes—$3,953 to state and local government in California and $981 to governments in other states.

Next year’s report may show some progress given the July 1, 2011 expiration of California’s temporary tax increases. However, future tax burdens remain uncertain, as Sacramento politicians are always scheming up new and creative ways to take more and more of your hard-earned dollars.

Taxpayers must remain vigilant, knowing that jobs, not higher taxes, are the best way to ensure our state’s prosperity.

The full study is available at