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California no longer No. 1 in personal income tax rate

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California has lost the distinction of having the highest personal income tax rate among the 50 states.

The Golden State’s top rate of 10.55% has been surpassed by new 11% rates in Hawaii and Oregon and by a new 10.76% top rate in New Jersey, as those states have scrambled to patch budget holes.

New Jersey’s top rate applies to taxable income above $1 million, the same threshold California applies for its 10.55% rate.

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Hawaii’s new 11% rate kicks in at $200,000 in taxable income for single filers and $400,000 for joint filers. Oregon’s 11% rate applies to income above $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for couples.

The Tax Foundation has a good summary of which states have raised taxes to close budget gaps (or still are wrangling over proposed increases) and which have held the line.

Just a side note: Well-heeled Californians who’d like to escape the state’s tax regime probably weren’t going to head for Hawaii or Oregon, anyway. They still have the option of paying no income tax at all by relocating to Nevada or Texas.

-- Tom Petruno


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