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Electeds Across California Back a Statewide Millionaire's Tax

July 1, 2020

SACRAMENTO - Five prominent City Councilmembers spanning the Golden State today announced their support for a Millionaire’s Tax -- which would raise up to $6 billion annually -- to protect vital public and community services. 

The coronavirus crisis has exposed and exacerbated the gaping inequality that millions in our communities face every day. The people of the Golden State agree: we must act on a scale comparable to the threat. New polling by Binder Research Associates for Build Affordable Faster CA (BAFCA) shows that 70% of California voters also back the tax.

The state’s $54.3 billion anticipated shortfall will have an outsized effect on people of color, who have been disproportionately hurt both economically and by the coronavirus itself. Amid the drastic state revenue losses, homelessness will skyrocket, public education faces dramatic cuts, and Californians who have lost their income due to the pandemic will have no support from the state beyond limited rent relief.

Motions to include a Millionaire’s Tax in each city’s 2020 state legislative agendas were passed in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley, and introduced in Los Angeles.

“During this time of hardship, our most vulnerable residents will rely more heavily on safety net services, and it is our responsibility to ensure that essential public programs receive the deep investment they deserve,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin. “It’s past time to eliminate the outrageous levels of inequality that exist in our state today -- and that means passing a new Millionaire’s Tax.”

“A millionaire tax bracket is a key way to capture some of the extraordinary wealth of the rich, and use it for the public benefit,” said San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston. “By establishing a modest tax on the biggest winners in our economy, we can change the lives of Californians up and down the state.

“Today, the United States has more income and wealth inequality than almost any major country on Earth -- and California is no exception,” said Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan. “At a time when many of my constituents are working two or three jobs to feed their families, we need a progressive tax rate that supports the social services they need to survive.”

“Austerity is not the answer -- especially during this moment of crisis,” said Berkeley City Councilmember Kate Harrison. “We need a progressive tax system in California that is based on the ability to pay. It’s time for the wealthiest among us to pay their fair share, and ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors can do better than just scraping by.”

"I am proud to support a Millionaire’s Tax that takes steps toward repairing our broken tax system and lifts up the needs of working families, like so many constituents in my city,” said Daly City Vice Mayor Juslyn Manalo.

“The affordability and homelessness crisis have reached a breaking point in California while the wealth of America’s billionaires grew during the onset of COVID-19,” said Jane Kim, BAFCA spokesperson. “Even before the coronavirus struck, nearly 130,000 people were experiencing homelessness and renters needed to earn $34.69 per hour to afford the average two-bedroom apartment. California must enact new revenue to support those on the brink of homelessness.”