Monday, January 6, 2014

Corruptocracy of California is Corrupt

A little short of two years ago, March of 2013, I told the story of how California's Franchise Tax Board would confiscate money directly from any bank accounts they can find.

The article starts with a story of someone who had $1343 confiscated from his Wells Fargo bank account for tax year 2006 despite not residing in California in 2006, not filing a State income tax return, not doing any business in the state, not owning any property in the state and not having any known tax issues left from when he did live in the state.  As often happens, once such a story surfaces more stories come pouring in.  Perhaps the most outrageous, because it's the highest total I know of, the California FTB sued Gilbert Hyatt, the inventor of a microprocessor chip, for $50 Million tax fraud.  The problem is Hyatt claimed he wasn't a resident of California when he invented the processor, rather that he lived and worked in Nevada.  One can imagine that if you've invented something with a great potential for royalties, they'll try to tax your income saying you thought of it while changing planes in California, or vacationing, or any other excuse they can think of to claim part of it. 

In today's comments, I received an update to that story.  The corruption is still going on.  They provided a link to more stories at Stephen Clark's California Political News and Views
Have you had the California Franchise Tax Board take your Social Security check or money from your bank without notification or explanation?  Did you move out of State without notifying the Board and they continue to take money from your banks accounts, though no longer a California resident—oh, you have no obligation to tell the State you moved.

Just victimized last week. I live in Oregon. Moved from Ca late May, 2000. Never received anything from them. Never had notice of a lien. They told me that because I held a Real Estate License in the year 2000 and didn’t file a CA return in 2000 that they assessed me a tax based upon the average income of a real estate professional in CA in 2000. That average income was $45,000 ! They took my SS, my little savings account, and part of the support from my husband. I am frantic ! to say the least.

Me too! Last week the CA FTB stole almost $2000.00 from my bank account here in Colorado. They took every last penny. I moved out of Southern California in 2006 and did not notify them so according to them they can charge me with not filing a return for 2007 and take my money. I have faxed them proof I didn’t live there but they don’t respond and you can’t reach them by phone unless you have two hours or more to be put on hold. If someone told me this happened to them before it hit me I would have doubted this is legal.
The 92 comments are full of more stories. They are simultaneously heart breaking and enraging.  Yet, as I said back then, like all bullies, they specialize in picking on people without the means to fight back.  It's easy to for them to take $5000 and make you spend $20000 to get it back - most people give up and write off the loss.  Which is what they're counting on, of course.   It's easy to steal $2000 from someone out of state who only has $2000.  To get a remote chance of getting it back they need to go back to California, hire an attorney and go to court.  All of those steps make more money for California in the form of the attorney's income tax, court fees, and taxes on whatever hotel or other place the plaintiffs live while fighting.  I bet the number of corporations with a full staff of lawyers that have faced this treatment is zero.

There are no words for the level of scum bag government this sinks to.  This is the worst of Banana Republic thuggery. 


  1. Of course they pick on "the little guy". To date that strategy has worked perfectly. If the little guy
    doesn't fight, they win. If the little guy DOES fight they STILL win as was pointed out....lawyers, courts etc. ALL get to sock it to the little guy. Like SO many instances of institutionalized abuse by
    bureaucracies at every level there is no penalty, no cost, no personal price paid by these criminals in the employee of the government. Want it to stop? Find them and HANG them. This ends ONLY when those in power actually fear for their personal safety at the hands of the citizens.

    When people fear their government it's tyranny, when the government fears the people it is freedom.....and since "the government" is essentially the tens of thousands of petty deskbound
    popinjays who need hanging then that is what must happen.

  2. It isn't just California. I was a dual resident of Missouri and Florida. I 'lived' in Missouri for exactly 4 months. That was two years ago, and they still send me tax bills.

  3. Taking a man's livelihood unfairly is a dangerous game. There are plenty of countries where bad things happen to government officials that cross the wrong people. A man who has lost it all already has nothing left to lose ... recall that story in the news about the city council shootout after they evicted a man from his property. Sooner or later these goons will get what they deserve too ...

  4. In 1968 I took a real estate class taught by a man who had been a tax assessor for LA county. His favorite story was about how he assessed a small 2 bedroom house value at $1 million because on the block next to it a developer had built a multi-story office building worth a few million. His logic was that the owners of the huse should be taxed at the value of the "highest and best use" of the property and not on the actual value of the property. I disagreed with him and made some good arguement for my point but he was essentially heartless and had zero sympathy for the property owners. He was quite proud that he forced them out of that home. It was about 10 years later that prop 13 passed in California and this man's story is a good example of why it was necessary. California is bankrupt and yet it's politicians spend more very year. They have to squeeze someone to get the revenue. The federal government will soon be just as aggressive and heartless.

    1. People decry vigilante justice but to bring justice to criminals who hide behind the law and their official titles such justice is the ONLY type their victims have recourse too.

  5. I can assure you, corporations with "a full staff of lawyers" face this ALL THE TIME. That's a huge part of why they have those lawyers, because they can't even get sympathy on the internet for bitching about it ;-)