In Tuesday’s Republican debate in Milwaukee a graphic was displayed to show where Facebook activity occurred discussing taxes. The green shaded areas on the graph indicated areas and states that had Above Average chatter on taxes (whatever average is). What catches the eye is that about two-thirds of California is white — no heavy tax chatter. Included in the white area are the large metropolitan and heavily populated areas of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego and Sacramento.
Does this mean that Californians don’t care about taxes, at least to the extent that they don’t talk about taxes on Facebook as much as residents of other states?
More to the point for analysts and consultants, does this Facebook chart bode well for the many advocates who are hoping to place tax increases on next year’s ballot? Are taxes not a concern for Californians?
Certainly, the Facebook graphic is not a scientific survey. Who knows how many likely voters are spending time on Facebook to discuss taxes?
Perhaps, Californians are not as concerned about taxes because the state is flush. The Controller’s Office announced yesterday that in October the state pulled in nearly $200 million more than was expected lifting the surplus over $500 million more than anticipated by budget projections.
A budget surplus would play a role in the coming debates over tax measures on the ballot and lead voters to feel that no new taxes are necessary – at least those who discuss such things on Facebook.