California is an expensive state to live in and the costs continue to rise.

For a long time, California residents have been aware that housing is more expensive in the Golden State, that gasoline costs in the state are well above the rest of the continental U.S., and that taxes put the Golden State near the top of the rankings of all the states. The long drought has put pressure on the cost of water.

Requirements passed by the legislature and costs of services billed by local governments add to the cost-of-living. When cost-of-living is included in poverty calculations, California’s poverty level rises to first in the country, covering nearly a quarter of the state’s residents. The middle class is burdened by the one-two punch of tax increases and requirements that add to living costs.

Julie Cart wrote in CalMatters about the cost increases homeowners face when renovating homes to meet energy requirements. Builders of new homes will have to add thousands to the building costs to meet new mandates.

Here’s how Cart described the situation:

Abiding by the revised code will come with an increased price tag. State officials say that homeowners’ up-front costs will be recouped over time in lower monthly power bills and added resale value. But do Californians typically stay in their homes long enough to reap these benefits?

New homes will also be required to meet higher energy standards.  By 2020, each home built in California should produce as much power as it consumes. At least one builder estimates that advanced energy systems will add $50,000 to the cost of a new, super-efficient home. What will that mean in a state where low-cost housing is in short supply?

When it comes to energy and water, government is increasing the cost of its services. This week the Los Angeles City Council approved a water and power rate increase that means over five years, costs for water and power for a typical homeowner will rise nearly 20-percent.

Then there is the issue of taxes. For example, Los Angeles officials are pushing for a sales tax for transportation. In the Bay Area a parcel tax over a number of counties is proposed to fortify bay levees. At least the voters have a direct say at the ballot box on tax issues.

How much can the consumer and homeowner bear? With the additional costs added by mandates, requirements and price increases, is there a breaking point for the consumer?

The proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back could be as diverse as different communities. However, given the few avenues voters can strike out against the rising cost of living, tax measures on the ballot may be the one place people can make a statement about the expensive California lifestyle.