August 12, 2011

DEAR CALIFORNIA: I’m leaving you. Here’s why. It’s not me, it’s you.

Okay, you want examples. Here are a few things I’ve had to deal with:

The State of California arbitrarily decided that all businesses that gross over $100,000/year should have an account where you have to report quarterly on the sales tax your customers pay you for goods sold. The only problem? My company only sold services–not products–which aren’t taxed in California. When I closed the account (by going into a local office and spending nearly an hour explaining my situation), they forced it open again and sent me a nastygram explaining that I would owe fines for not filing the quarterly report. You have to file it 4 times a year, and it takes time to fill out, even if you haven’t sold any products and owe the state nothing.

The state charges an income tax of 10% on all income over $47,055. This is in addition to the Federal income tax of 25% on income over $34,001. This is also in addition to an 8.25-9.25% sales tax (depending on where you buy products.) I paid enough in income tax for 2010 to the state of California alone to hire another new worker for my business. I’d bet a lot of money that I’m far more efficient at creating jobs as a small business owner than the state is given the same amount of money. I’d rather have that money to hire someone.

And a really dumb law for small business owners, which Meg Whitman promised to repeal: An annual fee of $800 just to have a corporation in the state of California. (Most states don’t charge you, or only charge you a few dollars, as an annual fee to set up a business. California’s is exorbitant, and it applies as long as you, the primary officer of the corporation, live in California…no matter where you incorporate.)

And that’s just the beginning. . . .

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