Here in California, the Bay Area specifically, we get the pleasure of knowing we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
We have it all. Nice, mild weather. Oceans, mountains, cities, wine country, shopping, restaurants, etc.
But, as with most things, there is a cost.
California is the LEAST tax friendly state in the country.
So we are paying for the nice, mild weather, oceans, mountains, cities, wine country, shopping, restaurants, etc.
Here are the facts according to Yahoo Finance:
State income tax: 1%-13.3%
State sales tax: 7.5%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.53 per gallon (National average is $0.31)
The Golden State is home to movie stars, beautiful beaches, Silicon Valley… and the highest income tax rates in the U.S. Rates range from 1% on taxable income of up to $7,582 for individuals ($15,164 for married joint filers) to 13.3% for individuals or married couples with taxable income of more than $1 million.
California’s state sales tax increased from 7.25% to 7.5% on Jan. 1, 2013. (The rate hike is scheduled to expire at the end of 2016.) Then there are local sales taxes in cities and counties with special taxing districts; in some cities, the combined rate is 10%. Food and prescription drugs are exempt.
California also imposes the highest gas taxes in the U.S as well as an annual vehicle license fee (VLF) of 0.65% of the purchase price of the vehicle (or the value when it was acquired) that’s reduced each year for the first 11 years of car ownership. For example, the VLF on a two-year-old vehicle purchased for $25,000 would be $147.
There is a bit of (relative) relief: Californians pay lower property taxes than residents in other high-tax states. Under the homestead program, the first $7,000 of the full value of a homeowner’s dwelling is exempt. But real estate is expensive. The median property tax on the state’s median home value of $384,200 is $2,839, according to the Tax Foundation.