In this past election, I did something I now really regret: I voted 'yes' to Proposition 30.
As this article by Ethan Anderson lays out, Prop 30 is very, very bad for entrepreneurs. Specifically, it institutes a retroactive tax on 2012 income. And for any entrepreneurs who had an exit in 2012 (or otherwise had a large chunk of income hit this year) and live in California, that's a really bad thing. It's especially bad for entrepreneurs because our income is often deferred for years only to hit in a specific year. If that was 2012 for you, suddenly you have a huge retroactive new tax burden you weren't expecting.
Instituting a retroactive tax is a shameful thing, and I can't believe I voted for a proposition that does that. And even worse, I can't believe that the ballot didn't mention it was a part of the proposition. Taxes should never be applied retroactively, because the populace can't go back and change their behavior or decisions retroactively.
When our politicians do something like this to us, it makes me want to become more conservative, and just never vote "yes" to anything that could have -- and in this case, did have-- hidden gotchas no matter how principled the ideal might be.
If you're more of an expert on Prop 30 than I am, and you feel differently on this, or feel that I'm missing something, please let me know in the comments below. Because right now, on behalf of not just myself but all the entrepreneurs out there, I'm feeling really violated by my California legislature.
Austin, TX is looking like a really attractive place to be an entrepreneur right about now.