Californians paid the nation's fourth highest state and local taxes in 2010, as a percentage of personal income, and 13th highest on a per-capita basis, according to an annual compilation by the Washington-based Tax Foundation.
The tax burden snapshot reflected, in part, temporary income and sales taxes that then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had enacted in 2009.
Those taxes have since expired, due to rejection by voters, but Gov. Jerry Brown is sponsoring a new income and sales tax measure, Proposition 30, on the Nov. 6 ballot that would raise about $6 billion a year, or roughly 0.37 percent of personal income.
The Tax Foundation pegs Californians' state-local tax burden in 2010 at 11.2 percent of personal income, more than a percentage point higher than the national average of 9.9 percent and topped only by No. 1 New York at 12.8 percent, New Jersey's 12.4 percent and Connecticut's 12.3 percent. Alaskans had the lowest burden of 7 percent, largely reflecting the state's massive oil extraction revenues.
It was slightly higher than the 11 percent calculated for California by the Tax Foundation for 2009. Since 1977, the state's lowest level was 10.2 percent in 1985.
In per capita terms, Californians paid an average of $4,934 in state and local taxes in 2010, based on an average per capita personal income of $43,919, 13th highest. Connecticut topped the states at $6,984 per capita.