Californians Can’t Afford the Largest Tax Hike in State History

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By CalTax President Robert Gutierrez

(This column was published January 25 in the Los Angeles Daily News, Orange County Register, Riverside Press-Enterprise and other newspapers operated by the Southern California News Group.)

State lawmakers are poised to vote on legislation that would require the largest tax increase in California’s history to fund a government-run “single-payer” healthcare system. A “no” vote is the only reasonable option.

This state already is unaffordable for far too many residents, and this tax hike would compound the problem by increasing costs for essential goods and services.

How big of a tax increase are we talking about? Nobody is sure, which is reason enough to be opposed. While the author has proposed raising taxes by $163 billion per year, that would not be enough to cover the cost of government-run healthcare. One estimate by the Legislature says the new state bureaucracy could cost $356.5 billion per year. Though staggering, that figure almost certainly is too low, because it doesn’t factor for increasing inflation or the type of cost overruns, fraud, and mismanagement that are typical in government programs.

To put the $365.5 billion cost in context, Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for 2022-23 – for K-12 schools, state universities, healthcare, transportation, corrections, the courts, and every other state program – totals $286.4 billion.

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