Not a misprint: the state government is actually taxing taxes—forcing Californians to pay taxes on paying taxes.
California gets away with charging taxes on people for paying taxes by ignoring the fact that taxes on businesses for products being sold to consumers are always ultimately paid by consumers. The San Diego Union-Times explains:
California’s sales tax on gasoline has long provoked grumbling from consumers and watchdog groups.
Sales tax is calculated from the full retail price of gas, a figure that includes state and federal excise taxes. That makes the sales levy, at least in part, a tax on taxes.
The state’s new “cap-and-trade” fee, which is designed to combat global warming, is no different.
Retailers pay the fee when distributors load tanker trucks, then the state requires gas station owners to collect sales taxes based on the full pump price.
“They are not calling it a tax, and these guys (wholesalers) are adding it to the cost of the fuel, so you are paying a tax on a tax,” said Max Castillo, owner of Aten Express, a convenience store and gas station in Imperial. “California is the leader of the nation in paying taxes.”
The new fee took effect on New Year’s Day, adding about 10 cents per gallon to the wholesale cost of gasoline and 12 cents for diesel.
Happily, because the price of oil has been collapsing, the pain was not felt by most consumers. But what if prices shoot back up? The state will be profiting from the misery of the people.
But misery is the only possible result from in this cap-and-trade scheme. California is big, but it is not the majority source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Even if it eliminated all carbon dioxide from industry and burning in the state, the world would still produce carbon dioxide (which is good, because otherwise plants would die, leaving us with a food problem and without a way to get new oxygen). So this tax for the sake of Global Warming does nothing to reduce global warming—even if it succeeds in cutting carbon emissions.
The California state government is just a torturer of the people—nothing more.