The cash-strapped state of CA has decided to “borrow” a chunk of our money, without interest. Shouldn’t this be illegal? Time value of money? The LA Times reports:
Starting Sunday (November 1), cash-strapped California will dig deeper into the pocketbooks of wage earners — holding back 10% more than it already does in state income taxes just as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks into gear.
Technically, it’s not a tax increase, even though it may feel like one when your next paycheck arrives. As part of a bundle of budget patches adopted in the summer, the state is taking more money now in withholding, even though workers’ annual tax bills won’t change.
Think of it as a forced, interest-free loan: You’ll be repaid any extra withholding in April. Those who would receive a refund anyway will receive a larger one, and those who owe taxes will owe less.
But apparently there may be a work-around:
Savvy taxpayers can get around the state’s maneuver by increasing the number of personal withholding allowances they claim on their employer tax forms, said Brenda Voet, a spokeswoman for the state’s Franchise Tax Board.
“People can get out of this,” she said, noting that most people would have to change their allowances through their employers. California’s budget leaders are banking on the hope that most won’t.