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Initiative Update:
Governor Describing Tax on Income Over $250,000 as 'Millionaires' Tax'

Governor Jerry Brown's new campaign website calls his latest tax increase initiative (12-0009) a "Millionaires' Tax," despite the fact that it includes a personal income tax increase that kicks in at $250,000 for single filers, and a sales tax increase that would hit all California consumers.

The website states: "The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012 is a Millionaires' Tax that asks the richest Californians to pay their fair share to help fund public education and vital public services, pays down the debt we owe to schools, and does not raise income taxes on the poor or middle class."

Asked to explain the discrepancy between the campaign message and the actual language of the initiative, Governor Brown told reporters: "Because everybody who makes $250,000 becomes a millionaire very quickly if you save. You just need four years. … I do think it is a Millionaires' Tax. It taxes millionaires."

The governor's plan would give California a top personal income tax rate of 13.3 percent – the highest in the nation by far – and would raise an estimated $8.9 billion in new taxes, according to the governor.

Specifically, the initiative would:

The California Teachers Association this week reported giving $1.5 million to the governor's campaign for the tax initiative. In the same filing, the union reported donating $1 million to the California Democratic Party. (Source: The Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert, March 28 and March 29.)

March 30, 2012
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