• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here

Taxpayers benefits in California?

pgru2

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
145
I am not resident of California, but read much(or too much) about taxes there. If I understand well, You must pay tax even buying something old and obsolete on ebay for (example) 1$ worth. Does taxpayers in California have some unusual benefits because they collect so much tax?
 

Eudimorphodon

Veteran Member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
4,843
Location
Upper Triassic
Is this going to be another pointless “used sausage is tastier in Poland” thread?

At least thirty states require the same sales tax applied to new items to be paid on sales of used ones. (With some variation in the exact details of whether it’s the seller’s job to collect it.) California is not even remotely unique.
 

GiGaBiTe

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
2,757
Location
Austin, Texas
Sales tax is old as markets themselves. CA also doesn't have anywhere near the highest sales tax rate in the country, that goes to Louisiana, Washington and Tennessee.

If you want to blame someone for online sales tax, you can blame South Dakota. They were the ones that overturned Quill Corp v. North Dakota with South Dakota v. Wayfair.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
39,418
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
I was resident in California when the "temporary" sales tax was passed. IIRC, it was about 2% with lots of non-taxables, such as gas, food, books, newspapers, etc. Some of the exemptions were silly--if you went to your local garden store and bought flower seeds, they were taxed; vegetable seeds were not. Also gave the collection authority to the criminal BOE - California Board of Equalization. As a business owner, getting a notice from the BOE was worse than getting one from the IRS. I don't know if anyone ever went to prison over the BOE corruption.

Now, the monster has been mostly stripped of its responsibilities and those have been dispersed to other agencies.

Just shows to go you that taxes are never "temporary", no matter what the politicians say.
 

krebizfan

Veteran Member
Joined
May 23, 2009
Messages
5,430
Location
Connecticut
Sales tax versus VAT is the subject of long debates by economists. It would take some research to compare the California state plus local sales tax rates of about 8% with Poland's VAT of 23%. Both have some exclusions and reductions for certain items making the comparison yet more complex. The sales tax has the virtues of the being seen by the purchaser and being a bit harder to game.
 

Eudimorphodon

Veteran Member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
4,843
Location
Upper Triassic
The sad truth is that everyone hates taxes, taxes in one form or another are needed to run any state with anything higher than a hunter-gatherer level of sophistication, and all methods of assessing and collecting taxes are unfair (to at least somebody), unreliable, and aggravating.

And it is also universally true that everyone who pays taxes has suspicions about how efficiently or wisely their hard earned money is being spent regardless of the "objective" level of waste or corruption actually present in their local government. I deeply question the point of and motivation behind these ***t-stirring topics.
 

whartung

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
585
Does taxpayers in California have some unusual benefits because they collect so much tax?

Yea.

We get to live in California.

Despite all the headlines, CA is still an incredible state to live in.
 

VERAULT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
5,591
Location
Connecticut, USA
Its an incredible state with a lot to see and the weather is nice. But as far as living there.. I moved back to the east coast as "locals" in the Socal area... Hell I just couldnt relate to any of them.. they all seemed aloof.
 

tradde

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2003
Messages
1,262
Location
Katy, Tx
Its an incredible state with a lot to see and the weather is nice. But as far as living there.. I moved back to the east coast as "locals" in the Socal area... Hell I just couldnt relate to any of them.. they all seemed aloof.

Yeah, nice place to visit. I would not want to live there.
 

Unknown_K

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2003
Messages
8,554
Location
Ohio/USA
I pay ebay taxes here in Ohio, you just factor it in when bidding.

My only experience in CA was going there in the 90's for a few weeks for work. Visited San Fransisco but mostly was in San Jose where most of the semiconductor companies were located.

The weather was nice but there was so much fog/smog you couldn't even see the Golden Gate Bridge when you were driving over it. Taxes are high, regulations are many, and property prices are insane. And traffic was insane. It was the first time I ever seen freeway on ramps that were multiple lane and had stoplights.

A friend lived there around that time and said he could see the place he worked from his apartment window and it still took and hour to get there with traffic. My old neighbors kid both mover to CA when she got married, and moved back here when she retired. Selling her small house there and buying very large house on the lake here.
 

VERAULT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
5,591
Location
Connecticut, USA
yeah its foggy every day in SAN Fran.. Part of what makes it beautiful is the bay and the microclimate. I do remember how vastly different it was from when I was there in 1998 to when I returned in 2017. It went from being a gay-centric city to a Hipster tech city... Alot less homeless people when I last visited.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
39,418
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
50 years ago, San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara and Cupertino still had canneries and was still largely agricultural. In the summertime, the air was filled with the smell of cooking tomato sauce. Lots of seasonal workers at those canneries.

The CDC building on Moffett Park drive (just moved from smaller digs on Porter Drive in Palo Alto) was in the middle of an onion field. When the autumn arrived, the crickets would get into the building and be everywhere. Moffett Field ran P3 Orion sub chasers that flew so low at times, you could figure out what brand of gum the pilot was chewing.
Los Altos Hills was largely gravel roads, horse people and hipsters. San Jose had wineries in the hills and orchards along North First Street, where most of the traffic was garbage trucks headed to the dump near Alviso. Santa Clara was known for its Italian prunes (plums to most people).
Most of all, it was affordable, friendly, with lots of open space. I used to fly kites where Great America is now. There was a state mental hospital in San Jose on Agnews road--there was a train stop there. San Francisco was quirky.

After all the money came in, it gradually turned into a rat race and got a lot nastier. I haven't been back in more than 30 years, nor am I likely to ever again.
 

whartung

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
585
yeah its foggy every day in SAN Fran.. Part of what makes it beautiful is the bay and the microclimate. I do remember how vastly different it was from when I was there in 1998 to when I returned in 2017. It went from being a gay-centric city to a Hipster tech city... Alot less homeless people when I last visited.

"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." -- Mark Twain.

We were there on the 4th of July once, near Pier 39. Folks will sell spots on their boats to go out in the harbor for a quick tour and to watch the fireworks.

All bundled up in our jackets, that year (dunno if they do it every year) they essentially ran identical shows of fireworks at either end of a section of the shoreline.

Most of the fireworks were going off in the clouds above us. Looked more like Close Encounters of the Third Kind than a fireworks show, but it was fun.
 

VERAULT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
5,591
Location
Connecticut, USA
I wanted to see alcatraz back in 98 but tours were booked solid for 3 months. I got to see it this last time around.. even watched escape from alcatraz in the hotel room the bight before just for fun. Still a great drinking city. Plenty of good spots
 

pgru2

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
145
I totally agree with Chuck(G), and it's nice to read that California was better place to live.

Generally I am thinking about being programmer for living, but "California dream", when I compare it even with Denmark reading articles looks like a history now. Denmark have also high taxes but probably pay better for junior programmer, and for taxes offer better social(in Denmark You probably get quite big state retirement pension just If You work 1 year, and live about 3 years in EU country).

And Yes Chuck(G) is totally right - "these temporary taxes" usually are not temporary - Poland some time ago had 22% VAT, but they made a "temporary" 23% according to them ruling party, The biggest opposition party said "Oh what are You doing, we will remove this". Now the roles changes, and guess what? There is still 23% tax.

The Poland usually not taxes most of the items that are used and cost e.g. some zlotys equivalent of e.g. 1$. The social benefits for taxes in Poland probably unusual to California is (partially) free university degree. Partially because for most of the degrees, there is a lot of people(and this is why there is a lot of private universities in country), on other side on more unpopular You can easily study for free. Also times changed and if You earn less than probably 1500 złoty month(around 3/4 of minimal wage) You can probably get now a social benefit money which are higher than most private universities fee in country.
 
Last edited:

Eudimorphodon

Veteran Member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
4,843
Location
Upper Triassic
People love making California a poster child for things, but gonna be blunt here: this tax thing is almost straight up BS. Calculated state tax burdens in the US vary between around 7% to 14% (the exact numbers vary between sources), but this is roughly how it boils down:

1: California is about #10 out of 50 states for total tax burden. That’s not great, sure, top 20%, but:

2: If you really want to bi**h there are better targets, like New York. California’s bill is basically “high median”, it’s not actually a gross outlier.

3: In sales tax specifically, again, California is not an outlier and it’s not their fault eBay has to chase down people across state borders to pay it, so basically this whole thread was based on a false premise.

People with axes to grind love pretending that California is some kind of socialist hellscape and a failed state, but this one state has the fifth largest economy in the world. California’s GDP is higher than India’s, for crying out loud. I’m not going to pretend that they’re doing everything right, but, sheesh.
 
Last edited:

Agent Orange

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
6,141
Location
SE MI
I wanted to see alcatraz back in 98 but tours were booked solid for 3 months. I got to see it this last time around.. even watched escape from alcatraz in the hotel room the bight before just for fun. Still a great drinking city. Plenty of good spots

I saw it from the flight deck of the USS Midway (CVA-41) back in April of 1962 as we were manning the rails heading out to WestPac. I remember those huge floating/moored signs that said in red on white "Do Not Approach Within 1000 Yards".
 
Top