What percentage of California’s personal income tax is paid by the top 5 percent of earners? How much more of the total property tax burden do businesses pay now, compared to when Proposition 13 was approved by voters? Which generate more sales tax revenue, restaurants or car dealers?
Answers to these questions and many more can be found in California Tax Facts: An Overview of the Golden State’s Tax Structure, a reader-friendly guide to taxes released April 4 by the California Tax Foundation.
The 84-page publication presents data from the state tax agencies in colorful charts and graphs, and includes descriptions and definitions to help Californians understand the state and local taxes they pay.
“Debates about taxes have been going on since California became a state, but sometimes the facts get lost amid the rhetoric,” California Taxpayers Association President Robert Gutierrez said. “Tax Facts aims to elevate the discussion by providing concise, factual information that taxpayers and elected officials need.”
Tax Facts is updated every two years to account for changes in the tax structure, including new inflation-adjusted income tax brackets and local sales tax increases. The popular publication is now in its fourth edition.
(Answers to the questions above: The top 5 percent of earners paid 66.6 percent of the personal income tax in the 2016 tax year, the most recent for which data has been published by the Franchise Tax Board; Businesses now pay 5.19 percent more of the total property tax burden (they paid 58.16 percent of the total property tax in the 1979-80 assessment period, and this grew to 63.35 percent in the 2016-17 assessment period); Motor vehicle dealers generated 13 percent of total sales tax revenue in 2016 – slightly more than the 12.1 percent generated by restaurants and bars.)
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