Get ready for a nasty new fee if you pay California state taxes late. Another way to screw the unemployed and struggling, straight from Sacramento: To start, more than 90,000 businesses, many of them mom-and-pops, will be warned of the fee after Jan. 1, 2011.

An official notice out today says “Legislation imposed the new collection cost recovery fee and requires the Board of Equalization to collect a fee on any person failing to pay.”

Not really. Here's the truth, and the eye-popping new fee costs:

The still wildly overspending California state legislature found a new shakedown to hammer people with. California taxpayers already pay a lot for “collection cost recovery,” by funding the BOE and Tax Franchise Board, two of the most persistent tax collectors on the face of the Earth.

Now individual taxpayers are going to pay for their work a second time.

And the new California state fees are exhorbitant: You will be charged $185 if you owe just $250.01 or more. And you'll be charged $550 if you owe $2,000.01 or more.

And so on.

How does it cost the BOE more money, by the way, to try to collect more?

Clearly the State Legislature is sucking cash out of folks, and the more you owe the more they want to suck you.

If most of these folks had the money, and weren't fighting foreclosures and the like, they would pay. How will 90,000 people now pay the huge fees?

In California's ugly economy, this is yet another thing about Sacramento that sucks.

You can thank Sen. Denise Moreno Ducheny, D-San Diego, who was chairwoman of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee that authored the new law, Senate Bill 858.

The BOE explains:

Taxpayers unable to pay in full now may still avoid the fee if they qualify for, enter into, and complete an installment payment agreement, which allows for payment of a tax, fee, or surcharge debt in smaller, more manageable amounts.

LA Weekly