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Taxing issues

November 15, 2009

Re "State is taxing our credulity," Column, Nov. 9

George Skelton's column on the increase in California tax withholding rates fires up the anti-government types, but he misses an opportunity to shed light on the subject.

His assertion that this is a tax increase is based on semantics as much as numbers. He's preaching to the large choir of Californians who don't want to think about the state's deficit.

The real question, which Skelton ignores, is when a state can expect to be paid the taxes it is owed.

If Skelton believes that taxpayers have the right to pay as little tax as possible throughout the year until the April 15 deadline, he should make some quantitative recommendations.

Whether taxpayers cost the state fair revenue by underpaying throughout the year is a question that's as legitimate as whether withholding rates should be increased.

Unless the increased withholding results in overpayment during the year, it seems like one of the least painful ways of narrowing a monstrous debt that voters and legislators are unwilling to address in more straightforward ways.

John Vasi

Santa Barbara

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