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Thursday, August 27, 2009

2009 California Tax Rates

Bob Brinker loves to bash California politicians for "out-of-control" spending and a "totally dysfunctional government." I agree 100% with Brinker on this.

At $117.4 billion, last year California collected 80% more taxes than the next highest taxed state, New York. New York "only" collected a total of $65.4 billion from its citizens. (Source 2008 tax collections)

On Saturday, August 1, 2009, Bob Brinker said:
California is obviously a totally dysfunctional government from a fiscal standpoint.... It's a joke. They are going to have to redo their constitution or they're not going to get past it on a long-term basis.... That's how screwed up it is."
Despite having the highest tax collections in the US, Californians will pay higher taxes this year even if they make less money!

Not only is the rate for California's top bracket going up 2.7% from 9.3% to 9.55% but California is lowering the income level at which this takes effect by 1.31% from $47,055 to "only" $46,439.

Note CA tax rates are indexed to inflation. We have 1.3% CPI deflation year-over-year so the brackets were lowered.)

This is not the only gain in our tax rates. Besides rising the income tax rate by 0.25%, California went to the well for more money by:
  • Slashing the dependent credit by more than two-thirds.
  • Nearly doubling the vehicle license fee to 1.15% of a car's value.
  • Increasing the California sales tax by 1%. In some counties like Los Angeles, the sales tax rate is 9.75%!!!
I just bought a new van for my windsurfing equipment. I more than made up for the higher tax rates by the large discount Ford is giving to get slow-to-sell, low MPG metal off its lots but I sure don't like paying the highest tax rate in the country.

By buying a new van, I've done my part to both stimulate the economy and help California raise cash to pay its IOUs. It is always good to have cash for economic downturns so you can take advantage of the bargains.

The new van did not qualify for the "Cash For Clunkers" program despite my old van only getting 11 MPG and the first tank of gasoline saw my MPG improve over 30% to 15 MPG!

More info:

Since 12/31/98 "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is UP 128% (over a double!) vs. the S&P500 DOWN 0.4% vs. NASDAQ down 7.8% (All through 8/27/09)

As of August 27, 2009, "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is up 17.3% YTD vs. DJIA up 9.1% YTD.


  1. Poohbah Lost A Bundle in AZAugust 27, 2009 2:50 PM

    CA has High taxes but at least you didn't move to AZ from CA to try and make a bundle on a spec house then have the housing market crash.

    Subject: ARIZONA

    Dear Diary,

    Just moved to Arizona ! Now this is a state that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. It is beautiful. I've finally found my home. I love it here.

    June 14th:

    Really heating up. Got to 100 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun everyday like this. I'm turning into a sun worshipper.

    June 30th:

    Had the backyard landscaped with western plants today. Lots of cactus and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing the lawn for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here.

    July 10th:

    The temperature hasn't been below 100 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least, it's kind of windy though. But getting used to the heat is taking longer than I expected.

    July 15th:

    Fell asleep by the community pool. (Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body). Missed 3 days of work. What a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though. Got to respect the ol' sun in a climate like this.

    July 20th:

    I missed Lomita (my cat) sneaking into the car when I left this morning. By the time I got to the hot car at noon, Lomita had died and swollen up to the size of a shopping bag, then popped like a water balloon. The car now smells like Kibbles and Shits. I learned my lesson though. No more pets in this heat. Good ol' Mr. Sun strikes again.

    July 25th:

    The wind sucks. It feels like a giant freaking blow dryer!! And it's hot as hell. The home air-conditioner is on the fritz and the AC repairman charged $200 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts.

    July 30th:

    Been sleeping outside on the patio for 3 nights now, $225,000 house and I can't even go inside. Lomita is the lucky one. Why did I ever come here?

    Aug. 4th:

    It's 115 degrees. Finally got the air-conditioner fixed today. It cost $500 and gets the temperature down to 85. I hate this stupid state.

    Aug. 8th:

    If another wise guy cracks, 'Hot enough for you today?' I'm going to strangle him. Stupid heat. By the time I get to work, the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and I smell like baked cat!!

    Aug. 9th:

    Tried to run some errands after work. Wore shorts, and when sat on the seat in the car, I thought my butt was on fire. My skin melted to the seat. I lost 2 layers of flesh and all the hair on the back of my legs and butt . . . Now my car smells like burnt hair, fried butt, and baked cat.

    Aug 10th:

    The weather report might as well be a recording. Hot and sunny. Hot and sunny. Hot and sunny. It's been too hot to do anything for 2 months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn't it ever rain in this state? Water rationing will be next, so my $1700 worth of cactus will just dry up and blow over. Even the cactus can't live in this heat.

    Aug. 14th:

    Welcome to HELL! Temperature got to 115 today. Cactus are dead. Forgot to crack the window and blew the windshield out of the car. The installer came to fix it and guess what he asked me??? "Hot enough for you today?" My sister had to spend $1,500 to bail me out of jail. Freaking Arizona . What kind of a sick demented idiot would want to live here??

    Will write later to let you know how the trial goes.

  2. When a stock goes IPO, I'm use to seeing it announced on the NASDAQ, DOW, etc., before it actually starts trading. But OTCBB stocks seem to start trading without a word. Where are these OTCBB stocks announced pre-IPO?

  3. Adrian Rogers, 1931August 31, 2009 2:18 PM

    "You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

  4. "The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another."


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