With the tax-filing deadline just days away, California residents are worried that a slew of proposed levies on everything from soft drinks to water to tires and car batteries could soon see even more money going out of their pockets in the state that already has the nation's highest income tax.
As Californians grapple with that 13.3 percent income tax – and some leaner-than-usual refunds this year due to the recent federal tax overhaul – lawmakers in Sacramento are looking at a range of other revenue sources. Members of the legislature's Democratic supermajority argue that these new taxes are vital to shore up the state coffers and to provide crucial services such as repairing crumbling infrastructure, cleaning up toxic wells and fighting obesity.
Overall, the California Tax Foundation has added up more than $6.2 billion worth of tax increase proposals pending in the state legislature, with that number expected to rise as bills are amended.
But the state’s minority Republican leaders bemoan these new proposals, arguing that Californians are already burdened by some of the highest taxes in the country and the new charges would only worsen the state’s mounting affordability and housing challenges.
“We have the highest gas tax in the nation and the majority party has gone as far as taxing our air,” California State Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove said in a statement to Fox News. “Now, they are proposing to tax our water, soda, tires, and more. Higher taxes won’t solve California’s affordability and housing problems, and they will only make things worse.”