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Reason Foundation

Who pays the taxes in CA

Adrian Moore
April 4, 2007, 8:15am

This nice article breaks it down.
Here's a statistic that combines two of April's most significant annual events, baseball's Opening Day and the tax filing deadline: All the people who combine to pay 30 percent of all income taxes paid in California could easily fit into Dodger Stadium. Of course, there would be a lot of grumbling from those who didn't get a luxury box. To be sure, these are people accustomed to sitting in luxury boxes. They are the 37,837 tax filers who reported adjustable gross incomes of more than $1 million. They represent 0.4 percent of all tax filers in California. Combined, they paid $10.8 billion in state income taxes, or 30 percent of the total. These figures are from the most recent annual report released by the Franchise Tax Board and cover the 2004 tax year. The new figures reinforce a truism about California's progressive income tax structure: It's the rich who pay taxes. These mythical Dodger fans (perhaps bluebloods really do bleed the Dodger team color) represent only the thinnest slice of the pie. The Tax Board calculates that the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 42.7 percent of income taxes in '04, up from 38.8 percent in 2003. Cut a bigger slice still, and you find that the top 5 percent paid 64.3 percent of income taxes.

Adrian Moore is Vice President, Policy


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