Effective today, the amount of state income taxes withheld from California workers' paychecks will increase 10 percent.The LA Times published an editorial today.
The increased withholding comes on top of a 0.25 percent state income tax increase and a reduction in the dependent credit, also enacted as part of the state budget.
Essentially, the accelerated withholding program does not generate additional tax revenue. Instead, it front-loads it, bringing cash in more quickly in an effort to keep the state treasury stocked with funds, which is where the "cash advance" tag comes in.
California and Texas are not perfect representatives of the alternative deals, but they come close. Overall, the Census Bureau's latest data show that state and local government expenditures for all purposes in 2005-06 were 46.8% higher in California than in Texas: $10,070 per person compared with $6,858.Californians must be receiving outstanding service, right?
Today's public benefits fail that test, as urban scholar Joel Kotkin of NewGeography.com and Chapman University told the Los Angeles Times in March: "Twenty years ago, you could go to Texas, where they had very low taxes, and you would see the difference between there and California. Today, you go to Texas, the roads are no worse, the public schools are not great but are better than or equal to ours, and their universities are good. The bargain between California's government and the middle class is constantly being renegotiated to the disadvantage of the middle class."I guess that Californians remain content to pay those 6-figure pensions.