THE reason California's personal income taxes are so high is that nothing can be collected through property taxes. Property taxes in California are in a perverse way the same as rent control. The property tax pricing has gotten so far out of whack due to Prop 13 formulas that the only way the state can get any revenue is on personal income tax. Of course where people always own home, personal income tax is cyclical so a lot of the boom - bust cycle plays out in California's budgets because the state is levered up on the economy. Economy does well, everything is great. Economy does poorly, whole thing fall down.
Dig a little deeper:
Prop 13 sets municipalities AGAINST housing. Since they can't get their money in property taxes, they take a chunk up front in planning and permit fee's. Last time I checked, many bay area cities are charging upwards of $140k in planning and permit fee's to build a single family home. That means that the barest wreck of a house with a valid occupancy permit is worth $140k. So that jacks up the prices of all houses, and gives them one way to get around prop 13.
The next way is to encourage you to move every few years. If you stay in your house, they never get to reset the property valuation. My parents are paying tax rates that last saw a major adjustment in 1978. I work in tech, making good money, and I can't afford to buy the house across the street from them in the east bay neighborhood I grew up in. So I commute in from a horrible distance, and hope I can make enough coin to move back in closer. When I do, the cities get to reassess the value of the house I sell and the new one I buy. The result of this is the transit problems never get entirely fixed. Most of the bay area freeways were built in the 20 years following WWII. Now days they have simple bypasses and rail extensions that have 20 year planning timeframes, and 10+ year construction times.
On the whole, California has rigged its economy to blow bubbles. That's how the cities and municipalities get by with the wreckage left behind by 40 years of NIMBY, tax and spend on free everything vs. proto-TEA Party types, all with the ability to amend the state constitution with 50% + 1 vote... The rich banker types have it down.... Let the system blow a bubble, cash out & crash, reshuffle, repeat. The people are just pawns.