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Sunday, August 30, 2009

EDITORIAL: BREAKING BAD--CALIFORNIA VS. THE OTHER STATES

By Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters

August 21, 2009 (San Diego) -- Here’s a depressing comparison of California taxes and economic climate with the rest of the states. The news is breaking bad, and getting worse (I keep updating this article):

California has the 2nd highest state income tax in the nation: . 9.55% at $48,000. 10.55% at $1,000,000

Our state is by far the highest state sales tax in the nation. 8.25% (not counting local sales taxes)

We have the highest state car tax in the nation – at least double any other state. 1.15% per year on value of vehicle.

Our corporate income tax rate is the highest in the West. 8.84%

California’s 2009 Business Tax Climate ranks 48th in the nation.
taxfoundation.org/

We have the fourth highest capital gains tax 9.55%
thereibrain.com

We also have the highest gasoline tax (averaging 64.5 cents/gallon) in the nation (July, 2009). When gas hits $3.00/gallon, we are numero uno – because unlike many states, we charge sales tax on gasoline purchases (built into the price).
api.org

Our state has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the nation. (July, 2009) 11.9%. National rate 9.4%.
bls.gov/news.release
Read the rest of the report here


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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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