The study by the California Budget Project finds the poorest fifth of the state’s households - those making about 11-thousand dollars a year – spend almost twelve percent of their income on state and local taxes. By comparison, the wealthiest one percent - those with average incomes of 1.6 million - are spending just over seven percent of their income on those taxes. Matt Gardner with the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy explains the disparity:
“CA has basically one progressive tax – the income tax and two regressive taxes – the sales taxes and property taxes inexorably hit lower income families harder.”
Gardner says those regressive taxes include those on cigarettes, alcohol and gasoline. The report analyzed census and tax data. It also took into account business taxes passed on to consumers through higher prices. However, the report’s author acknowledges that the bulk of income taxes still come from the wealthier Californians.