California breakup plan would create rich and poor states: report

SACRAMENTO Calif. Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:30pm EDT

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SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - A long-shot proposal to break California into six separate states would also divide rich and poor, according to a legislative analysis released on Wednesday.

The plan, which supporters hope to put before voters as a ballot initiative this November, is backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Tim Draper, who submitted 1.3 million signatures in favor of his proposal to Secretary of State Debra Bowen last month.

"At least initially - and perhaps for many decades after their creation - the six proposed new states would have widely varying income levels," said the report by Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor.

The wealthiest of the proposed new states would be "Silicon Valley," comprised of the affluent, pricey tech hub near San Jose, along with San Francisco.

That state would have a per capita income of $63,288, twice that of the poorest region and a third higher than California's current per capita income of $46,477. A state of Silicon Valley would bring in $2,168 per person annually in income taxes, the report showed.

The poorest of the new states, to be carved out of the agricultural Central Valley, would have a per capita income of $35,510 and bring in $472 in income taxes per resident. Jefferson, to be carved out of the northernmost California region near the Oregon border and named after the third U.S. president, would have per capita income of $36,147, and garner income tax of $463 per person per year.

West California, which includes Los Angeles, would fall in the middle, with a per capita income of $44,900 and annual per capita income tax of $1,116.

Draper, who has funded the campaign, says his plan would create a more business-friendly environment, solve the state’s water issues and ease traffic congestion.

But the idea has raised bipartisan hackles across California, and opponents say it stands little chance of gaining voter approval. Even if it does, it must still be passed by Congress, which opponents say is also unlikely.

(Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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Comments (70)
fedupaj wrote:
California is anything but a rich state now. It is a state that has a huge debt hanging over it and a state that has taxed it’s citizens beyond reasonable. There would be no talk of splitting the state if the dumocrats that run the state would stop overspending. Businesses are fleeing the state because of over-taxation and people are leaving in droves as well. The reason for this mess can be found in the State Legislature and the Governors office.

Aug 13, 2014 1:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
networth wrote:
So what? What’s the point of this article? Is the author surprised that there would be differences in wealth? Does she think that every resident of California has the exact same amount of wealth and that, if you split it up, all of a sudden there are wealth disparities? It’s ridiculous. The disparities are there now. If it actually happens, the residents of silicon valley are no richer or poorer than they are today. Residents of eastern California or northern California are no richer or poorer than they are today.

Aug 13, 2014 2:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
USAPatriot913 wrote:
I for one am in favor of splitting the state. Conservatives have NO voice here. Bernstein’s article shows that she definitely is against it. Actually, the socialist/communists don’t want it split because it will have 4 new conservative states and only 2 liberal ones. Without our money, the liberals can have at to continue to provide sanctuary cities. The conservatives won’t do that. The liberals states will go the way of Detroit, because they are being run by the same ideologues.

Aug 13, 2014 2:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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