Only in California would the largest tax increase in state history be proposed during the biggest economic collapse in state history.
Just as Gavin Newsom announced he’s all in on the initiative to undo Prop. 13, the Legislature has unveiled a bill to raise our highest-in-the-nation income tax even higher.
In surveys, half of Californians already say they want out. This bill goes after the other half.
AB 1253 raises the top marginal rate from 13.3 to 16.8 percent, imposing $6.8 billion in new taxes. What’s more – it’s retroactive. Small businesses who thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse underestimated the capacity of our political class to inflict pain.
As CalChamber put it, “During times of economic prosperity AB 1253 would be a job killer. During this time of economic crisis, AB 1253 is catastrophic.”
The bill, which would also raise the income tax for two other tax brackets, already has 15 co-authors.
This is all on top of the $8.7 billion in new taxes Gov. Newsom already signed into law in June.
For months I proposed giving Californians relief rather than further abuse: AB 5 repeal, PAGA reform, liability protections, flexible work arrangements, historic regulatory relief, tax exemptions, operating loss carrybacks.
Yet all of these policy tools were rejected. Instead, the singular hammer of our state’s politics – higher taxes – is being swung at the people of California more ferociously than ever, at the worst possible moment.
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