- New York: $6413
- California: $4517
- Illinois: $4081
- National Average: $4001
- Florida: $3693
- Texas: $3235
The Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy has an interesting 2007 paper about California state taxation that echoes some of the above sentiments plus provides detail about the highly progressive (and thus volatile!) nature of California taxation. It also has this cool graph showing that prior to the passage of proposition 13 California was a "high tax" state, but proposition 13 brought us in line with other states.
This suggests to me that our budget shortfall is the result of excess spending, not insufficient taxation. There is perhaps some room to increase the tax burden but real progress will only come from spending cuts. The progressive nature of our taxation does increase the sensitivity to economic downturn but one could argue this is an automatic stabilizer and should be retained.
It's always scary to agree with an organization with an Orwellian name like the Reason Foundation, but they come to the same conclusion:
"A good rule of thumb in government budgeting is that the rate of spending increases should not exceed the rate of population growth, plus inflation ... Over the entire 18-year period, state spending grew at an average annual rate of 5.91 percent, while population plus inflation grew only 4.38 percent a year, on average ... Gov. Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers won't fix the underlying budget problems until they admit the state has a spending addiction."But addicted to spending on what, exactly? An investigation for another day.