Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Taxifornia Interruptus.

Tax-happy Californians --- those few, those unhappy few --- are beside themselves with frustration over the revised state budget.

After the recent special election, in which California's voters overwhelmingly said "no, no, no, no, no" to more taxes and spending, Arnold Schwarzenegger recovered from his political amnesia and remembered why we elected him the Governator in the first place. He forced the Legislature to cut expenditures, reform social programs, and hold the line on taxes. Thanks, Governor!

Not everybody is as grateful. For instance, Dean Calbreath, business columnist for The San Diego Union-Tribune, wrote this after passage of California's revised budget:
"Nor did the Legislature slap a tax on the Big Oil companies, which have been taking petroleum out of the ground in California since 1861 without paying royalties. Every other oil-producing state imposes royalties, but heaven forbid that we should follow the lead of Alaska, Wyoming and Texas.

"Thanks to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's pledge to cut services instead of raising taxes, Occidental Petroleum – which generated $6.9 billion in profits last year – won't have to pay royalties on that new, 150 million-to 250 million-barrel field it discovered in Kern County." (Here.)

Calbreath may be on to something. Perhaps California should follow the lead of Alaska, Wyoming, and Texas. California has one of the highest income taxes of all the United States. Alaska, Wyoming, and Texas don't tax personal income at all. (Here.) Now that's the kind of tax policy California needs.

-tdr

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