During the first year of the Legislature’s 2023-24 session, California lawmakers considered more than $203.5 billion in new taxes and fees, including a “wealth tax,” a government-run health care system that would require hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes, a tax on oil company earnings, a corporate tax increase that would make California’s rate the highest in the nation, and numerous fee increases. This figure includes all tax and fee legislation introduced from the beginning of the session through September 14, 2023, when both houses adjourned for the year
During the first year of the 2023-24 legislative session, lawmakers and the governor approved more than $10 billion in higher taxes and fees, increasing the cost of living for residents, the nonpartisan California Tax Foundation reported today.
The foundation’s Tax and Fee Report tallies 93 proposals with higher taxes or fees, including 46 that became law.
Of the 46 new laws that include taxes or fees, the 17 that can be quantified represent $10.42 billion in new costs to taxpayers. The 29 measures with unknown costs also will add to the tax and fee burden in the state.
The potential cost to taxpayers can be quantified for 58 of the 93 measures included in the report, for a cumulative total of $203.5 billion a year in additional taxes and fees if all were approved. Many of the measures remain alive as the Legislature prepares to launch the final year of the two-year session.
Taxes and fees enacted this year include an extension of a tax on managed care organizations estimated to increase taxes by $8.2 billion, a constitutional amendment that proposes to lower the vote threshold necessary to increase local taxes, and five bills that allow local governments to circumvent the transactions and use tax cap and impose higher sales taxes.
These proposals come at a time when many Californians worry about rising costs, and voters believe the state no longer will be affordable for future generations. According to a recent Public Policy Institute of California survey: “A record-high 71 percent of Californians think that when children today in California grow up, they will be worse off financially than their parents.” The taxes and fees increased in 2023 likely will add to California’s high cost of living.