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Jerry Brown's "Millionaire's Tax" is anything but
California Governor Jerry Brown has decided to partner with the California Federation of Teachers, combining two proposed tax plans that threatened to compete with one another on the November ballot. The new compromise, entitled the "Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012," pitches itself exclusively as a "Millionaire's Tax" despite retaining the aspects of Brown's original plan that would hit far more than California's top earners. As the Sacramento Bee pointed out, the real truth on the tax lies buried in a Frequently Asked Questions page of the campaign's website.
Brown had originally proposed presenting voters with a quarter cent sales tax hike and a sliding 1%-2% income tax hike on those earning over $250,000. The tax would have raised an estimated $7 billion in state revenue. Political troubles loomed from the threat of at least two other tax hikes earning their way onto the ballot, one of which was backed by the California Federation of Teachers, known as The California Funding Restoration Act of 2012. It would have raised marginal rates exclusively on those earning more than $1 million between 3% and 5%.
This newest concoction known as "Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012," according to its website, hits the "highest earners" with a 3% income tax increase, and includes smaller increases on those earning between $250,000 and $1 million. Already, the notion that this is strictly a "Millionaire's Tax" is shattered. And despite rhetoric that "the middle class and poor are not impacted," the proposal still raises the sales tax by a quarter cent to 7.75%. It therefore increases a tax that will be felt by literally all Californians.
No matter the merits of raising taxes as a means of closing California's $9.2 billion deficit, the truth about the nature of the plan deserves to be known. Californian's should not be told something is only a millionaire's tax when in actuality it is far more, and will impact everyone. Jerry Brown's latest push will hit far more than just those earning more than $1 million. It will be felt by every Californian at every cash register across the state.