Sacramento should return the surplus to state taxpayers

By Assemblywoman Laurie Davies | Contributing columnist

PUBLISHED: May 28, 2021 at 10:29 a.m. | UPDATED: May 28, 2021 at 10:29 a.m.


California’s hard-working taxpayers just handed state lawmakers a $75 billion surplus for fiscal year 2021-22, which begins on July 1. The budget must be crafted by June 15.

Are the lawmakers eager to reward us by giving back a major chunk of the surplus? No. Not even a “thank you for your hard work.”

Instead, Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, proposed AB 1253, which would raise taxes even higher. The current confiscatory top income tax rate of 13.3 percent, already the highest state rate, would soar to 16.8 percent.

The state sales tax rate of 7.25 percent also is the country’s highest. County and city levies raise it higher, to 7.75 percent in most of Orange. City taxes push it as high as 9.25 percent in Los Alamitos and Santa Ana.

Rendering of the California bullet train. A new bill would shift $54 million set aside for the train to fund local projects. (Courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority)

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