The progressive Courage Campaign announced it will file a millionaires’ tax initiative.
As the organization describes the measure, it would seek voter approval of a tax hike on people who earn more than $1 million a year and use the estimated $6 billion to restore cuts to education, public safety and roads.
This ought to be interesting.
Here’s the campaign’s news release:
Broad Coalition to File “Millionaires’ Tax” to Fund Education, Senior Services, Public Safety
“California Funding Restoration Act” Would Increase Personal Income Taxes On Those Who Make $1 Million or More
Los Angeles – A broad coalition of educators, unions and community groups announced today it is filing a ballot initiative to restore critical funding to schools and universities, essential services for seniors, and public safety, as well as start rebuilding the state’s crumbling roads and bridges. It asks the wealthiest Californians — people who earn over a million dollars per year — to help pay to rebuild the state.
The “California Funding Restoration Act” would increase personal income taxes only on those who make $1 million or more annually to restore funding to services that make California communities stronger and safer, and ensure seniors receive the care they deserve.
“This is the only initiative proposal that would restore funding devastated by the recession, and rehire thousands of teachers, senior care providers and public safety personnel, without affecting the wallets of working families and the middle class,” said Rick Jacobs, chair and founder of the 750,000 strong Courage Campaign. “It addresses the heart of the problem: that total income share to the state’s richest 1% has doubled over the last twenty years, while their tax rates have fallen.”
The coalition tested various tax approaches in opinion research with likely voters. No other type of proposal came close to the strength of voter opinion in favor of the idea that the richest Californians should pay their fair share to restore funding for schools and services.
“As a teacher and parent, I have seen the terrible impact of state budget cuts on our schools through teacher layoffs and larger class sizes,” says Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers. “It is time for the wealthiest Californians to pay their fair share to restore funding for education and essential services.”
The Restoring California coalition estimates that the initiative, under discussion since last March, will restore $6 billion in funds for K-12 as well as higher education. It would help people like Jazmin Casa, an East Los Angeles Community College student, who lost her job caring for seniors because of the state budget cuts. says, “Now, I’m fighting to keep my home,” said Casa, an active member of the organization, California Calls.
“Extensive recent public and private polling show that California voters strongly support a progressive approach of raising taxes on the rich to fund education and other essential services that have been cut in recent years,” said pollster Ben Tulchin.
The coalition includes:
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
Inner City Struggle
Community Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment
Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education
Delores Huerta Foundation
Knotts Family and Parenting Institute
Communities for a New California
Causa Justa/ Just Cause
The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Working Partnerships USA
Warehouse Workers United
Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement
Mobilize the Immigrant Vote
University of California Student Association
California Federation of Teachers