Of all the state election results across the nation, few can top the shocking good sense of California voters in approving temporary tax increases to raise $6 billion a year to shore up the state’s tattered public schools and university system. That’s right: There were voters in these hard times agreeing to be taxed despite the “no new taxes” mantra of simplistic conservative politicians.
One of the best indicators of a state’s economic health, according to John Merline, writing in Investor’s Business Daily, is the “U-Haul Index” (first publicized by economist Mark Perry) to see what people are paying to move into, or out of, the state. Renting a 20-foot truck one way from San Francisco to San Antonio, Texas, for example, costs $1,693. Going in the other direction, however, costs only $983 for the same truck.
As Perry explains:
The American people and businesses are voting with their feet and their one-way truck rentals to escape California and its forced unionism, high taxes, and high unemployment rate for a better life in low-tax, business-friendly, right-to-work states like Texas.
They have lots of reasons to leave. According to the Tax Foundation, “Tax Freedom Day” arrives earlier in Texas than it does in California, due to its zero individual and corporate income tax and a lower sales tax. Put together, Texas’ state and local tax burden is less than eight percent of income, well below the national average of nearly 10 percent, while California’s is almost 12 percent.
This enormous disparity puts California the 48th out of the 50 states in the foundation’s overall business tax climate index, while Texas ranks ninth.
And the cycle repeats. Greece raises taxes…
Greece plans to tax businesses and middle incomes more in an effort to raise revenues from a tax reform bill it has long-promised its international lenders, a senior finance ministry official said on Thursday.
The European Union and International Monetary Fund have demanded the cash-strapped country reform a tax administration widely seen as corrupt and ineffective before they disburse about 9 billion euros (7.3 billion pounds) in aid early next year.
But Greece has so far failed to make real progress and disagreements over who should be taxed and by how much has created a rift in Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s coalition government, a mix of leftists and conservatives.
The finance ministry plans to raise the corporate tax rate on profits to 26 percent from 20 percent, said the official, who declined to be named. In dividends, the rate would fall to 10 percent from 25 percent currently.
The ministry’s proposals include reducing tax brackets to three from eight and imposing a 40 percent top rate on incomes above 40,000 euros. Currently, the 40 percent tax rate applies to those earning over 60,000 annually and those earning over 100,000 euros are taxed at 45 percent.
German daycare centers are suffering a woeful shortage of teachers. A recruitment agency is hiring Greek kindergarten teachers who are desperate to escape the debt crisis. With as many as 14,000 positions unfilled in Germany, these workers are being welcomed with open arms.
Athanossios Tsokos and his brother run the Axia recruitment agency, which has offices in Munich and Athens and is about to open one in Thessaloniki. He used to find jobs in Germany mainly for doctors and engineers. These days, though, his focus is on teachers for kindergartens, as preschools are called here.
When are people going to get it?