California wasn't alone when it boosted state taxes last year to cope with its budget deficit; nearly half of the 50 states also increased taxes, according to a new survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
However, California's increase in income, sales and auto taxes was the largest in state history, pegged at the time at $12-plus billion and accounted for nearly half of the $28.6 billion in new taxes levied by 24 states.
Voters reacted sharply to the increase, which was adopted in early 2009 after weeks of political infighting, and rejected a series of ballot measures that would, among other things, have extended the taxes. Without the extension, the added levies will begin phasing out at the end of this year, worsening the chronic gap between income and outgo.
The NCSL report, which may be purchased here, found that in the 24 states that did boost their taxes by more than 1 percent, the average was 3.7 percent of the previous year's tax collections. California's boost was more than 10 percent.
Increased personal income taxes accounted for nearly half of the additional revenues, followed by sales and corporate income taxes. Motor vehicle taxes accounted for $1.9 billion of the total "with much of the net increase coming from vehicle tax changes in California."