Guest Post: Welcome To The Predatory State of California--Even If You Don't Live There
Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds
Welcome To The Predatory State of California--Even If You Don't Live There
Theft has been "legalized" for governments and banks in America.
Every once in a while an event crystallizes the stark reality behind the lacy curtain of propaganda and artifice. Here is one such event.
Correspondent R.T. is a retired accountant who has resided in Arizona since 2001. Prior to 2001, he resided in California.
On March 14, he received a letter from the California Franchise Tax Board (the agency that collects income taxes) claiming that he owed $1,343 for the tax year 2006. This was the first notification he'd ever received of this claim. This was an interesting claim given that R.T.:
-- Did not reside in California in 2006
-- Did not file a State income tax return in California in 2006
-- Did not have any outstanding tax issues with California in 2006
-- Did no business in California in 2006
-- Owned no property in California in 2006
The number $1,343 is also interesting, as R.T.'s total Federal tax liability in 2006 was $650. Since the top income tax rate in California is about 9%, and that only kicks in at relatively high income levels above $100,000 annually, then it's difficult to see how anyone could owe double their Federal tax in California state tax.
But the truly interesting part of the story is that the state took $1,343 out of R.T.'s Wells Fargo bank account on March 2, prior to notifying him of the claim. Wells Fargo charged R.T. $100 for handling the removal of his $1,343.
As R.T. observed: "If I had filed a 2006 California tax return the statute of limitations would have run out, but since I did not file a 2006 tax return there is no statute of limitations. This is the classic catch 22."
I do not have copies of the correspondence so I cannot verify this sequence of events, but I have corresponded with R.T. for many years and have found him to be a credible witness to national events. While some might claim he invented this story of state theft out of whole cloth, there is no basis in our years of correspondence to support that claim.
What is entirely believable is that the state of California, desperate for revenue, is churning out dubious income tax claims stretching back years and collecting the money without due process. This is theft, pure and simple, and charging the account owner $100 for transacting the theft is also theft.
Welcome to the predatory State of California--even if you don't live there. If any mainstream media journalist wants to pursue this story, email me and I will put you in touch with R.T.
Somehow I doubt this is a unique story. R.T. said he immediately tried to call the California Franchise Tax Board and was on hold for some time before his call was dropped. As of yesterday his attempts to contact the agency via phone were unsuccessful. Why are we not surprised by any of this? Perhaps it's because government/bank thievery and Catch-22 incompetence is now the backdrop of our culture.