21st Century Taxation

Improving the US and California tax systems: 
What's wrong, why we should be concerned, how to fix the problems

To the blog

Quick list of California tax problems

21st Century Taxation home
This webpage is the work of Annette Nellen, professor at San Jose State University. It ties to a blog she maintains on tax reform - 21st Century Taxation. This website includes several reports and article links with details beyond the blog discussion to explain problem areas in the California tax system, why improvements are needed and how California's tax system can be improved. There is also information on multistate and federal tax problems and possible reforms. Podcasts are also available on some of these topics. Several of the op eds and articles below were written while she was an Irvine Fellow with the New America Foundation (9/06 - 8/08).

                                                Table of Contents

California Tax Issues & Solutions

  1. Tax system weaknesses in general

  2. Sales and use tax

  3. Personal income tax

  4. Corporate income tax

  5. Property tax

  6. Alternative taxes

  7. Telecom taxes

  8. Tax administration

  9. Strategy and accountability needed

  10. Chokeholds on the tax system


Multistate Tax Issues & Solutions





Federal Tax Issues & Solutions


Helpful California Links

Professor Nellen's list of AICPA Tax Insider articles


California's Tax Issues and Solutions

  1. Several Weaknesses Exist: An Introduction to Some of the Problems  (web)  (pdf) (podcast)

    1. Most of these weaknesses can be solved by fixing the tax base - they cannot be solved with a rate increase. A rate increase would make most of these problems worse.

    2. Analysis of California's Tax System Using Criteria Established for the 21st Century Economy Commission (pdf) [coming soon]

  2. Sales and Use Tax: Issues

    1. Tax Base is Too Narrow (web) (pdf) (podcast)

    2. Challenges in Collecting the Use Tax (web) (pdf) (podcast)

    3. Pyramiding Nature of the Tax (web) (pdf)

    4. Nexus Uncertainty (web) (pdf)

  3. Personal Income Tax Weaknesses

    1. The tax is too volatile  (web) (pdf)

    2. Complexity due to lack of conformity with federal rules, various special rules and not using simplification techniques  (web) (pdf)

    3. Too many costly and unnecessary tax breaks (web) (pdf

  4. Corporate Franchise Tax Issues

    1. Conformity with the federal income tax is low  (web) (pdf)

    2. California's tax loopholes that aren't, San Diego Union Tribune, 7/11/08

    3. Looking for a Better State Business Tax, AICPA Corporate Taxation Insider, 10/29/09

  5. Property Taxes Reform Considerations

  6. Alternative Taxes

  7. Telecommunications Taxes   (2003 policy brief by Prieger, Sexton and Nellen)

    • Taxes have not kept up with changes in technology 

    • State and local simplification is possible through coordination 

  8. Tax Administration

    1. Tax agency coordination proposals [coming soon]

  9. Strategy and Accountability Needed

  1. Chokeholds on the Tax System (budget restrictions, earmarking, etc.)


Multistate Tax Issues & Solutions


Federal Tax Issues & Solutions


Helpful Links

Personal Information

This page last revised on December 10, 2009.                                                            Contact Annette Nellen

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of Professor Annette Nellen. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by San José State University.