California’s Taxes Aren’t Just Taxing Taxpayers

California’s Taxes Aren’t Just Taxing Taxpayers

Editorial: Corporations keep trying to throw out progressive California laws. Do we need reforms?

How often do you hear the term “taxi industry”? It might have to do with the fact that the so-called cab industry isn’t really an industry at all. While taxi drivers often say they need to provide their own cars for customers, the fact is that most rides from the airport to a hotel or from a hotel to the airport are provided by private shuttles, often owned by a different taxi company. There’s some truth in this assertion, but it’s only meaningful if you consider the whole process something other than commerce.

The taxi industry is just one example of the many things that California lawmakers are trying to regulate here. This year, the state is proposing a number of new policies to address the growing income disparity between its wealthy elite and more-disadvantaged residents. If successful, these policies might finally bring California into line with our peers and neighbors to the south — where the richest Americans now have an even greater advantage over the rest of the population, but have had relatively little success in doing anything about it.

One of the new ideas California is proposing is that it would expand the state’s franchise tax, which would tax corporations in the state on their revenues even if a company isn’t using those profits for their direct benefit, like selling a product to the public or making an employee happy. California already has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the country, and this new proposal would add to that. Not only that, but these new taxes would also apply to out-of-state corporations, giving the state a foothold in a growing competitive market. Not everyone will welcome this as a solution to the income disparity problem, but the solution of taxing out-of-state companies — even if it means increasing the state’s already high tax rate — is a problem for the states to solve.

For many in the business community, California’

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