Tax Fairness Commission

In the midst of a pandemic and economic crisis, we don’t have time to be anything other than bold and visionary.  In order to End Poverty in California, I know that we need sweeping tax reform.  I believe the plans detailed below within the Tax Fairness Commission will support #OurCalifornia and will bring about the robust safety net and positive socioeconomic changes that our State needs to see during this declared State of Emergency and long after.  Furthermore, I believe the Tax Fairness Commission can End Poverty in California.

I can’t make paying taxes pleasant, but the very least the State can do is make it simpler.

Multiple nonpartisan tax fairness organizations and our own Federal government have long confirmed that taxing investment income at significantly lower rates than salaries and wages has lost $1.3 trillion over the last 10 years. We can see the inequities and inequalities of California’s tax code playing out with tax breaks, changes in income from capital gains and dividends, loopholes, and outright tax evasion – all of which are heavily utilized by California’s wealthy.  

High-income households and large Corporations benefit most from California’s Tax Breaks to the tune of more than $63 billion dollars in lost State revenue each year, which is an amount equivalent to more than 40% of the 2019-20 State or California General Fund budget. And that’s before legal loopholes and blatant tax evasion.

Still, the largest contributor to increasing income inequality both in our State and our Nation has been taxation changes in income from capital gains and dividends  which solely benefit the wealthy.  As a result, both our Federal & State governments have previously upheld austerity tactics on the poor to compensate for the wealthy not paying their fair shares. In fact, 30 percent of income inequality is due to unfair taxes and subsequent budget cuts to social services and benefits.  It is time this changes.  

As this COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crises have shown us, the wealthy and the Corporations they own in this State have seen their wealthy rise astronomically, while #OurCalifornia saw 25% unemployment, struggled to remain in our homes and regularly relied on charitable food lines to keep food on our tables.  California Billionaires saw their net worth jump $313 Billion, averaging an additional 45% increase, 7 times the State’s Revenue Shortfall for both 2020 & 2021; resulting in the State of California & locality governments significantly cutting critical public services.  This has always been unacceptable, and yet cruelty is compounded as Governor Newsom has allowed this  to continue during a pandemic and economic crises of these proportions.

No more.

It’s time for the wealthiest Americans and big corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. When they take unfair advantage of the many loopholes in the tax code the rest of us pick up the tab.

Instead of cutting education funding for our children, adults & futures, instead of postponing critical infrastructure repair across the State, instead of cutting mediCAL during a pandemic, instead of forcibly shuffling our unhoused and say that we have no other recourse… TAX. THE. RICH.  AND. CLOSE. THE. LOOPHOLES.

The point is to create a Tax Fairness Commission (TFC) during this declared State of Emergency & Impacted Parties Council within TFC, with the goal of keeping the TFC long after the pandemic and economic crisis ends for the betterment of society and for the futures of #OurCalifornia.

  • Part 1: Close State of California Individual & Corporate Tax Loopholes effective immediately:
    • Increasing Large Corporation Taxes & reducing their substantial tax breaks;
    • Increasing the tax on business revenue over $100million from 9% to 25%;
    • Close Commercial & Corporate tax loopholes for property to be taxed at current market value;
    • Increasing the tax on business revenue over $100million from 9% to 25%;
  • Part 2: End State subsidies immediately to any corporation that utilizes offshore accounts;
  • Part 3: End State subsidies to any corporation that has significant CA labor violations, class action suits, or outstanding and unresolved labor infractions (Ex. SpaceX & Tesla lost multiple class actions, unresolved hazardous conditions for both the State & OSHA, etc.);
  • Part 4: #OurCalifornia Individual Tax Reform:
    • No increase in State Personal Income Taxes for any Californian with an annual income under $350,000:
      • All Californians individually making $20,000 – $49,999 per year individually, or $40,000 – $99,999 per couple, will receive an additional State obligatory minimum tax refund of 25% of their earned income;
      • And all Californians making $50,000 – $75,000 per year individually, or $100,000 – 150,000 per couple, will receive an additional State obligatory minimum tax refund of 15% of their earned income;
    • Create and implement temporary income tax code applied to annual income tax brackets of $350,000, $500,000 & $1,000,000;
    • Create and Implement a Wealth Tax on California’s Top 4%.  Our Billionaires and Millionaires (790,200 of 39.51 million Californians):
      • A modest 3% wealth tax from those 165 Californians alone would provide the State and #OurCalifornia, $21.711billion for desperately needed public services and programs; $21.71billion is more than ⅓ of California’s current operating budget
    • Simplify Tax Filing with Postcard and Precision Withholding;
  • Part 5: #OurCalifornia Small Business Tax Reform:
    • Expanding #OurCalifornia’s Capital Access Program for Small Business under the Public Bank of California;
    • Simplify Small Business State Tax Filing to One Page;
  • Part 6: Create a Public and Transparent TFC Impacted Parties Council which allows for feedback, representation, research and the opportunity to create legislation to better the lives and futures of #OurCalifornia; Limitless but critically needed TFC-Funded possibilities include:
    • TFC-funded #ChildcareForAll
    • TFC-funded Locality Infrastructure Revitalization Initiatives – Californians within individual localities determine and prioritize what they need. the State will provide the funding;
  • In the true spirit of Upton Sinclair’s End Poverty in California campaign, I will call on fellow Citizens, Socialists, Governors, and fellow Socialist Gubernatorial campaigns across this country to adopt and implement the same.

I am proud to have connected our Policies and Executive Orders for Tax Fairness Commission Tax policy positions to precedent of previously passed CA legislation, bills currently making their way through California State Legislature, policy insight from the California’s own Public Policy Institute, California Budget Center, Americans for Tax Fairness, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and recent David Binder Research polling with an approval rating from 70% of Californians to taxing millionaires more during this pandemic.

Given Governor Newsom’s declared States of Emergency and his Constitutional authority, there is nothing logistically stopping Governor Newsom from adopting and immediately implementing all of these policies for the health, well-being, and future of #OurCalfironia.  I call on him to do so immediately.