Do Californians Pay Too Much in Taxes

This chart shows the percent of taxes we pay California and our local governments. As you can see, Californians pay 10.5%. This is higher than the national average of 9.7%.render[1]

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26 Responses to “Do Californians Pay Too Much in Taxes”


  1. 1 Dave Crider July 22, 2009 at 12:13 PM

    Well compared to the national average obviously yes. Coming from Michigan I was blown away when we got here by both the sales tax and gas tax. Sales tax in Michigan is 6% wherever you go in Michigan from one end of the state to the other. Here in California the state sales tax is 7.25% but each city has their own such as in Napa it is 8.75%. So I personally think that is was great that California lawmakers were able to come up with a budget without raising taxes but the sacrifice in jobs due to all the cuts may not be worth it.

  2. 2 James Dugger July 22, 2009 at 2:23 PM

    For the programs we receive that are not available in other states, no – I don’t believe we pay to much taxes. For the services that are provided on the state level, it makes sense that our taxes would be higher in order to pay for those services.

    Since they aren’t planning on raising taxes, we’re going to lose a lot of our programs. We are also probably going to lose our quality of our Educational System. All state funded programs are going to lose quality because of cuts.

    Maybe it’s time to let private companies take over these programs. It seems like that is where we’re going to wind up heading.

  3. 3 felicia hall July 22, 2009 at 3:14 PM

    I do believe we pay too much in overall taxes. Although, I do agree with the last blogger in regards to the programs/services our state offers need funds to operate. But honestly I don’t believe all the taxes we pay as a whole all go to these services. I mean come you work 40 hours a week, and before you can touch your money Uncle Sam takes what he wants, then there’s another portion that Uncle Sam looks forward to around April 15th, and oh yeah, don’t enjoy the conveniency of your own vehicle there’s that gasoline tax that’ll cost you. I understand that somehow someway the state has to bring in revenue, but isn’t there another way than to tax everything at such high rates for those that are trying to maintain.

  4. 4 Joseph Garcia July 23, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    Yes, I’m not surprised to see we pay higher taxes compared to other states. We do generate more income as a whole state. Since our government has a progressive tax rate, it’s only natural that they would tax those areas that have more money. However, I do think one way to help lessen taxes for everyone would be to make the whole process more efficient. People can hire help with their taxes to find loopholes within the system and avoid them.

  5. 5 Jessie Maguire July 24, 2009 at 8:59 AM

    I have lived in New Mexico, Massachusetts as well as California, comparatively Californians do pay higher taxes. Although California has many programs and services available for its citizens I feel that the tax money could be put to better use. The educational systems throughout California are suffering because they have little to no money. How can we raise a new generation of higher thinking people if they are stuck reading out of tattered and outdated books? California needs to come up with a way to take those tax dollars and put them to better use so that long term changes can be made.

  6. 6 Kit t Kat July 24, 2009 at 9:26 AM

    I think paying taxes is good because it helps further society. The government uses the money to help the disabled, poor, elderly and protect society. It interesting that californias pay higher than the national average in taxes yet is having state budget issues. Also California properly pay more because they make more money and have a larger poplation.

  7. 7 Sanamjit Bains July 24, 2009 at 11:51 AM

    Its not surprising to know that California pays more taxes as compared to national average. It’s fair to tax more when the average income is higher too, but its not fair to increase tax when the income does not rises and unemployment goes up. Its nice to see a plan for budget cut with out an increase in taxes.

  8. 8 Amanda Smith July 24, 2009 at 1:49 PM

    Compared to what all the other states pay in taxes, yes we do pay too much in California. But the programs and opportunities we have in this state make it pretty obvious why we pay more. I would rather pay more taxes and keep all the “perks” we have than pay less and have all of the programs eliminated. I’m quite use to paying an arm and a leg in taxes living in California anyway.

  9. 9 Wen-Li Chan July 25, 2009 at 5:33 PM

    Yes, I do think that we pay a little more than other states, however, I realize California is one of the most populated states. More people mean more spending, therefore, more taxes. Apparently California still spends more than it takes in. I hope now that the law makers have aggrements on how to fix the budget, the state finance should go back to the right track.

  10. 10 Kendall July 26, 2009 at 10:01 PM

    I think Californian’s pay a lot to live here. But then again its a beautiful state. I want to keep believing that the benefits outweigh the negatives. For the many programs we have it seems like they are only struggling, so that leaves one question where are all our tax dollars going?
    Frankly it seems obvious that the government would want to foster businesses to make more profit in order for them to hire more workers. Then it would seem likely that taxes shouldn’t cripple a business. As James said earlier if private business is what bring the state programs out of this rut perhaps it is time for the government to let the private sector begin the climb back up.

  11. 11 Alma Tenorio July 27, 2009 at 11:51 AM

    I can’t say that I feel that much of a difference for the amount of taxes we pay as Californians. California is a more populated state that offers other many advantages to those who live here. As I read other comments from others that have lived in other states, I am able to see how we are over-taxed compared to the rest of the nation. I do have to say however that Napa’s new increased tax is a little ridiculous.

  12. 12 Lauren Swartz July 29, 2009 at 10:51 AM

    California’s tax rate being higher than the national average does not mean we pay an exorbidant amount of taxes. To create the average rate of 9.7 a certain number of states’ residents pay more than that amount in taxes, and a certain number pay less. The “national average” rate of 9.7 does not mean that a majority of state residents pay that rate in taxes. It doesnt’ mean that Californian’s pay more than most Americans as the population of each state varies so greatly. Furthermore, an average can be affected by outliers- so states like Texas and Alaska which pay for state run programs with oil production profits rather than income and sales tax are likely to bring that average down.

  13. 13 Nick July 29, 2009 at 1:45 PM

    As much as I would rather not pay taxes, and never appreciate a tax increase, I understand the necessity and why taxes in California are above average. When you consider the benifits of living hear (economically, enviromentally, socially), people are willing and able to pay a higher tax rate. It’s simple, if you are unwilling or unable to afford the higher taxes, then it’s time to move on. However, it still seems that we experience more and more transplants.
    Only question: Due to California’s financial state, where is this money going and how is it being used? This is more my concern.

  14. 14 Jessica Tsai August 2, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    It may seem like Californians pay a lot in taxes, and with the recent hike in the San Francisco Bay Area taxes, purchases seem to exhaust so much more of our earnings. However, I believe that this is the cost to live in a state that offers so much opportunity. I have friends from other states that idolize the image of the California because of our various attractions such as Hollywood, San Francisco, and simply the good weather or laid-back atmosphere. There are definitely things that California can do to reduce the impacts of the recession outside of raising taxes but I believe that to difference that we pay should partially be attributed to the beauty of living in a state like California.

  15. 15 Alejandro Cortez August 3, 2009 at 1:01 PM

    It is not surprising that Californians pay higher taxes. According to the CIA’s factbook California’s economy (on its own) ranks tenth largest in the world. While we do have a progressive tax rate I believe that we should actually be increasing the amount of taxes we are paying. Numerous state parks are closing, schools are laying off teachers and capping budgets for new supplies, roads are deteriorating, and an influx of tax revenue would alleviate these problems. I have to disagree with James and say that private companies should be kept far away from our social programs. Privatization of social programs would hurt those who need the programs most of all. Our country must be willing to tax ourselves more, especially those of us who are more well of than others.

  16. 16 Abby August 3, 2009 at 6:07 PM

    Yes, Californians pay high taxes relative to the rest of the country. But we also choose to enjoy the valuable benefit of California: epicenter of US’s west coast economy (in agriculture, technology, culture, etc.), desirable climate, rich natural resources, fantastic tourism within the state (Tahoe, beaches, SF, LA…does it get better?), and the list of the advantages of living in CA goes on and on. If it’s so terrible and people don’t want to live here, move to Nevada! Just kidding. Kind of.

    As much as high taxes really hurt our wallets, the high tax rate rate reflects the benefits of living in California. However, the excessive, and often inefficient, public programs implemented by the state definitely WASTE taxpayers’ money. Hopefully, the recent budget overhaul will more effectively allocate our tax dollars towards viable social programs, not superfluous bureaucratic initiatives.

  17. 17 Stacey Smarker August 5, 2009 at 7:25 AM

    I do belive that California pays too much in taxes. We have now been given a higher tax on liquor, ciggeretts, and so fourth. But I feel like this information is incaccurate. We should be looking at the gross amount paied in taxes. We should be looking at Califonia and how their taxes differ with a simmila economy, California is the 6th laregest econonmy , so we need to compare it to places that are close to Califonias economy.

  18. 18 Jessica Schimke August 6, 2009 at 12:31 AM

    If we are paying more than the national average then we are obviously not getting the best deal out there. With the amount of taxes we are forced to pay, we should start holding our leaders more accountable. There is so much money wasted on unimportant/ridiculous stuff while more important programs are underfunded.

  19. 19 Hailey Cook August 6, 2009 at 9:54 AM

    Californians, pay ENTIRELY too much in taxes, especially to be in such a financial crunch as the state is in right now, I didn’t grow up in California, so I am well aware that it is possible to sustain living comfortably without paying incredulous amounts in tax dollars, on the other hand, California has a huge influx of immigrants (from other states and countries) so you have to think of it both ways, while living here is fantastic and the draws to do so are endless , you have to find a balance, because so many people feel this way, the government keeps things under control with making living so expensive here, otherwise there would be 10 times the amount of people moving here.

  20. 20 Maricar De Los Reyes August 6, 2009 at 3:47 PM

    Coming from Texas,the tax in California was extremely surprising at first. They tax for every little thing! But you have to remember all the benefits you get in California. There is such an abundance of things to eat, to see, to do. California can be its own country for goodness sake. California can provide most of what you need. Not to mention the education system. Where else in the country can you go to Community College for $20 a unit. Of course, that’s changed now, but not by much. Yes, the standard of living in California is a lot higher than everywhere else, but the quality of living is worth it.

  21. 21 Juan Balderas-Econ 101 August 6, 2009 at 10:17 PM

    California pays more in taxes than any other state in the nation. However, California has more social programs than most state, and we’re typically trendsetters for a lot of these programs. Our taxes do go to many good things, including a large state park system.

  22. 22 marie moussa September 15, 2009 at 9:19 PM

    Californians pay 10.5% in taxes to the state and the local governments. The national average is 9.7%.

  23. 23 Amanda Chow October 6, 2009 at 9:14 AM

    Californians pay way more then any other state, and I do not believe it is fair. On a national level we are paying more then any other state. I know that California has many social programs, but it’s so draining to know that you worked for a hard earned pay check and then the government takes a huge percentage away. It was even more draining to know my parents had to pay taxes for the public school in my area and pay for my tuition at the private school.

  24. 24 Carling November 8, 2009 at 12:22 PM

    I have lived in Oregon my entire life, and coming down to California and knowing I was going to have to pay sales tax was something I was dreading. Obviously, but looking at the numbers, you can see that California is getting jipped! In a perfect country every state would pay the same rate. This article makes me wonder where all the extra tax dollars are going.

  25. 25 Luke Napier December 7, 2009 at 11:01 AM

    The taxes this state pays in my opinion is quite understandable in my opinion. We live in the best state in the country and we have to pay for that. Even though we are getting ripped off compared to other states like Michigan, the great state of Michigan doesn’t have as much chance for citizens of that state. California does have more people which means less chances to gather a good job, but as a citizen of this state I would gladly pay this extra tax for beautiful people and weather anytime.

  26. 26 Rochelle Galzote December 14, 2009 at 10:32 PM

    California does pay too much taxes. I drove to Washington one year and stopped in Oregon for food and gas on the way and they didn’t charge any tax. We have many programs that taxes help but we don’t really need them.


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