California – “We Need The Money More Than You”
Who was it who said “the government powerful enough to give you things is powerful enough to take things away”?
Well that has never been more true than in California where the state has decided to arbitrarily increase withholding by 10% because it couldn’t manage its debt. IOW, Californians take less home so the state can pay its debt:
Starting Sunday, cash-strapped California will dig deeper into the pocketbooks of wage earners — holding back 10% more than it already does in state income taxes just as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks into gear.
Technically, it’s not a tax increase, even though it may feel like one when your next paycheck arrives. As part of a bundle of budget patches adopted in the summer, the state is taking more money now in withholding, even though workers’ annual tax bills won’t change.
Think of it as a forced, interest-free loan: You’ll be repaid any extra withholding in April. Those who would receive a refund anyway will receive a larger one, and those who owe taxes will owe less.
You’ll get a “larger” refund if the state has the money to pay refunds. Weren’t they issuing IOUs not long ago? But that’s not the point. The state has just made it clear that it has first claim on what Californians earn. If that doesn’t scare the bejesus out of them, I’m not sure what will.
And if that doesn’t increase the emigration to less oppressive climes I’m not sure what would.