Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.
The California economy dodged a bullet when the Prop. 15 payroll tax initiative failed on the November ballot. But with the new Legislative session beginning in Sacramento next month, there is plenty to fear.
With supermajority control in Sacramento, the same old tax measures that have failed before could be brought back for another try in 2021.
One such bill, identified by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), is Assembly Bill 2088, which would establish a 0.4% wealth tax on high-net-worth Californians. An estimated 30,400 residents would be affected — that is, if they remain in California, as pointed out by the HJTA.
Another bill, Assembly Bill 1253, would add an additional 1% to the tax rate on incomes of more than $1.1 million, another 3% on income of more than $2.3 million and 3.5% on income over $5.9 million.
Nine states of the union — Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming — have no income taxes.
Other measures likely to come back from the dead include constitutional amendments to lower the vote threshold needed to pass local tax increases. And there’s a really wacky one, Sentate Bill 1120, that would create a right to subsidize any single-family lot in the state into two lots, each with a house and entitled to at least one accessory dwelling unit. Cities wouldn’t be able to impose an approval process on this.
As HFTA points out, taxpayers can expect all of these measures to rear their ugly heads this session. That’s why these organizations remain always vigilant.